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OUR FATHERS 

(187O-I9OO) 

BY 

ALAN BOTP 


MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE ANCIENT 
VICTORIANS : A SURVEY IN PICTURES 
AND TEXT OF THEIR HISTORY, 
MORALS, WARS, SPORTS, 
INVENTIONS & 

POLITICS 



WIIXIAM HEINEMANN LTD., LONDON 



i88o 



“THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES, now installed 
in Marlborough House, hase taken their place as leaders of London’s soungerjank and“iashios” 




CONTENTS 


PAGE 

MANNERS AND MORALS I 

THE RISE OF WOMAN j p 

STATE OCCASIONS 73 

EMPIRE OCCASIONS 83 

“FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG” 1 1 J 

“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES” 1 3 8 

INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 1 63 

THE RISE OF SPORT 1 87 

INTENSIVE INVENTION 205 

O 

MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 223 







To 

N.C.B 

(1865-1965) 




SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE— “ Englishmen, when their pleasures 
are criticized, have one reason to hold up their heads. They have a temple of pleasure that is 
unique, that is as near perfection as such things ran be. We refer, of course, to the Crystal PJace” 




OUR FATHERS. 


¥ 

MANNERS AND MORALS 

The only traces of Victorianism left in the front window of English life are the 
English Sunday in the towns, some mildly snobbisfi hierarchies in the countryside, 
a Gladstonian unction among elder statesmen, and the Church’s outlook on 
divorce. The rest has gone, although it is evoked in attitudes struck by youngish 
writers who continue to flog, not a dead horse, but its reputation. 

Most of us in the war generation passed through a phase.pf deriding, or even, 
hating, the great antiques of the nineteenth century whom we had been taught 
to revere. The middle classes, tired at last of their long earnestness under the 
good Queen, adopted disrespect as a fashion in the eighteen-nineties; but that was 
for adults only. The nineteenth-century conscience stayed strong enough, right 
through the Edwardian twilight of its gods, to keep for the young the Victorian 
code. J 

The Victorian Lord, in my early schooldays, was not the terrible personage 
from whom Mr. Fairchild took his authority, but he was still drastic and unavoid- 
able in cases of sin against the code. Later, Grand Old ’Uns, from Ruskin to 
Matthew Arnold by way of Tennyson, were rammed so hardly upon our palates 
that we considered every bearded venerable a bore. With a warning that this road 
was dangerous, we were introduced to Darwin and Huxley, but only at the schools 
that encouraged a modem side. What mattered most was Character. Cleverness 
was a dubious asset before one reached twenty, and after that it was approved only 
in moderation. The Etonian gibe: 

Rugby may be more clever, 

Harrow may make more row, 

Row, row together . . . 

was an attitude imitated in all the less expensive schools. It stayed sacrosiln<3: 
longer than most aspects of middle and late Victorianism; witness the howl that 
rose when The Loom of Youth appeared. 

I now part company, for a few years, from such of my generation as went into 
the pre-war army, the navy, the Church, or the Indian Civil Service, or who could 
afford, after cutting golden capers in their University years, to hunt through the 
winter and # through the London season form themselves into a last phalanx of 
jeunesse doree. The rest of us, while we hewed rather haphazard paths to a 
career, experienced a sequence of Victorian mental phases that had been excluded 



OUR FATHERS 


from our Victorian curriculum. Aged about seventeen, we wallowed in agnos- 
ticism and other doubtings. We went in for Whistler, and claimed to understand 
Meredith. A year or so later, we caught up with the yellow aspect of the ’nineties" 
and were everso Wilde and Dowson. A revival in Beardsley floated through our 
adolescence, and wakings frofti far away Baudelaire and Verlaine turned one to 
recognition of the flowers of evil. 

The next quick stage was adventure in our own modernity. Shaw we had 
taken in our stride, and by 1913 we would have made him a Middle-aged Master 
had he not resentfully insisted on maintaining his red-bearded youth. We had 
liked the Wells who e introduced the modern young person in Ann Veronica, but 
were dashed by discovery that ojir fathers and mothers liked him too. So, also, with 
Orpen, Wilson Steer and other painters of merit. The approval of our elders 
ruled them out, although when Augustus John entered the Cafe Royal, half a 
dozen younger and shorter painters, with beards carefully grown a la John, and 
hair trained to be uaruly, would bob up to catch the master’s eye; and the more 
Epstein affronted the Daily Mail mind with his physiological statuary, the more 
we discussed his genius. 

Piqued by the suspicion that parents were less antiquated than we wanted to 
think them, we sought later influences, for which the chief qualification was new- 
ness. Some had ^vitality that carried them from experiment to permanence, some 
were whirling jabberwocks. We preached Van Gogh and Post-Impressionism 
when they were laughed at in England. Our young artists and architects 
lauded the beauties in engineering. We invited Marinetti, the Futurist, from 
Rome to London, hilariously dined him at old mother Strindberg’s Cave of tbr 
Golden Calf in Heddon Street, and hilariously cheered when he recited a poem 
on automobolism, of which the only line I remember is Ola vita jut jut bourn l 
The new thought and the new art had to to be aggressive at all costs. I helped a 
now famous painter to hand out in Regent Street leaflets that advertised his four- 
dimensional pictures; and more than one passer thought the leaflets described a 
stock of indecent postcards. 

Mr. Compton Mackenzie’s Sinister Street was the novel that came nearest to 
showing, on a London background, the sensitive young of half a generation ahead 
of us. Our own immediate young had no time to find their ivaj into novels 
because war turned the thoughts of older writers into broader themes, and 
those of us who had begun to write were pitched too soon into chaos. Meanwhile 
the new voices we admired found few platforms except The English Review under 
Austin Harrison and T he New Age under Orage. One such voice, full of strange 
oaths and resonant bloodies, was the poet Masefield. Had anybody th?n predicted 
that Masefield would end as the most approved Poet Laureate since Tennyson, he 
would have been thought drunk, or a feeble-minded poseur; the suggestion would 
not have seemed more startling had it concerned Mr. J. C. Squire, then in his 
phase of caustic parody. . 0 

Our generation was the first to build barriers against the Victorians; but 
it was left no time for holding out against their domination. When the war 



MANNERS AND MORALS 


came, a h%h priest of the twentieth-century movements then stirring surrounded 
himself with unenlisted acolytes, and announced to the patriots, “We are the 
civilisation for which you are fighting!” But that pose could not last; within a 
few weeks the young intellectuals were in khaki, and on the best of terms with 
the young hearties who had liked being flung out of’the Empire promenade, and 
would rather have been sent down from Oxford than have taken a First in Science 
at London University. 

Whatever influence the war may or may not have had on individual citizens 
who fought, it inescapably widened the breach between themselves and their 
parents. The guff about atrocities and lily-white causes, the easy exaltation, the 
manufactured hatred of the enemy, all the catchwords between Business as Usual 
and The Women Have the Hardest Part in War — mud, steel, shells, fear of death, 
beastly carnage amid companionship so fine that it could not be talked of and 
hardly joked at, these were disinfectants against such unreality. By 1917, coming 
home on leave was like leaving one miasma for another that seemed more curious. 
The manceuvrings over panel conscription, the exaggeration of peril in air raids, 
the eat-’em-alive attitude towards the Germans, were remote from the urgencies we 
knew. The war deepened our affection for parents; but when some friend with 
an independent spirit was killed in France and it was said that the father had 
“given his son,” we sometimes thought, secretly and flippantly, how exceptional a 
war would be in which sons gave their fathers. 

There were also moments of quiet, in and out of hospital, when we speculated 
over the causes of the damned thing. The Germans had raped Belgium, of 
course, and had been generally aggressive. But that was a symptom. What had 
been the gathering causes, what had brought the nations into their bellicose readi- 
ness to send us into this hell, which all the slogans could not make other than a 
hell? Had not the Victorians, who snaffled the world’s riches while crying 
humanitarianism, banging the Bible, and imposing a system of manners based on 
repression — had they not contributed by drawing upon their nation international 
jealousy and a reputation for hypocrisy? The resentment against our fathers, who 
continued to give their sons, was crude but natural. 

Meanwhile, the old ’uns and their code were flouted through the sexual freedom 
that thrust itself forward. This had begun, indeed, earlier than the war. Many Suf- 
fragettes and their sympathisers held that women had the right to freedom in the 
same degree as that assumed by males, under cover of Victorian niceties. But the 
moderate paganism which resulted was likewise kept under cover of the niceties. 
The war intensified it, though even then it was not flaunted. With premature 
death round tfie corner, the coming together of the sexes has always been instinc- 
tive and inevitable, an urgent union of youth with youth while time lasts. 

Until the social contours of England after the war became defined, manners 
did not change outwardly to any great degree, despite the profiteers; and morals 
were*outwardly assumed to be what they were not. Our remnants had been 
changed by abnormal experience into different beings, uncertain of their needs 
in an England which was the reverse of what they had hoped and the statesmen 



OUR FATHERS 


had easily promised. Then, enter the newer generation, neglect^ and ill- 
nourished during wartime, surfeited with patriotic proddings that led it nowhere. 
Through being moulded' during its impressionable years by elderly people whose 
thoughts were on'things more urgent, it was untrammelled on the one hand,- and 
on the other inclined to hysteria. It whooped its freedom from restraint, stripped 
conversation of the last decencies, knocked down the ultimate ninepins of Victorian 
reticence. Mr. Michael Arlen happened. A host of twittering young hedonists, 
alive with brave rudeness and self-conscious complexes, settled upon London (here 
and there they even adopted perversion as a mode) . The phase, for a while, was 
amusing. « 

More than ever were the Victorians derided. Books about them stood no 
chance of success unless they specialised in irony and “de-bunking.” An odd 
thing, though, became evident. Among the Stracheys, Sitwells, and other literary 
artists of unquestioned brilliance who searched the Victorian age for gleanings in 
irony, not one was able to keep regard out of his collection. Unwilling respect 
gradually became affection. Victoriana was collected in the home, family albums 
were paraded only half in fun, and the ancient Victorians became a subject for 
costume balls. Fortitude, downright humour, and something near to sentiment 
finally returned' into vogue. Mr. J. B. Priestley brought back, with what success 
we know, the Igng novel about quaint, clean, simple, hearty folk. Perhaps religion 
itself will be the next native to receive a welcome home, after a flashy decade that 
was made sterile by self-pity. 

Mr. Laurence Housman, in a prologue to his Angels and Ministers, wrote, 
“The Victorian era has ceased to be a thing of yesterday; . . . the fixed look of 
age which now grades the period, grades also the once living material which went 
to its making. With this period of history those who were participants in its life 
can deal more intimately than can those whose literary outlook comes later . . . 
When we go, something goes with us which will require for its reconstruction, 
not the natural piety of a returned native, such as I claim to be, but the cold, 
calculating art of literary excursionists whose domicile is elsewhere . . . The 
bloom upon the grape only fully appears when it is ripe for death. Then, at a 
touch, it passes, delicate and evaneseent as the frailest blossoms of Spring. Just at 
this moment the Victorian age has that bloom upon it — autumnal not spring-like 
— which, in the nature of things, cannot last.” 

The bloom has passed during the ten. years since that was said; the second 
half of the nineteenth century has become a “period” admitted by its fondest 
survivors, the praisers of bygone times, to be quaint as well as golden. Literary 
excursionists into its country have brought back judgment of its grandeurs and 
oddities. With every kind of history of the Victorian era published, I attempt its 
only new adventure in books — a reconstruction through a pattern made from its 
pictures, with today’s outlook blended into the composition. It happens that the 
second half of the sixty year’s. reign left us a unique store of illustrations, ‘there 
were prints and engravings in plenty, but I have here chosen only a few among 
them, since better value is given by the wood-blocks used in the great illustrated 


4 



MANNERS AND MORALS 


journals, before the reproduction of photographs on paper arrived in the mid- 
nineties. Artists were employed to sketch every event worth attention, and every 
aspect of life, either as eye-witnesses or “from information supplied.” The illus- 
trators of the nineteenth century arrived soon after Victoria reached the throne, 
and soon before she died their occupation ended. We shall jjever see their like 
again, and no later or earlier epoch will have been drawn so vividly as was the 
Victorian. 

Much of their work was authentic or first-class craftsmanship. The Victorian 
Graphic (whence I have taken many engravings), employed men in the 
categories of Herkomer, Sydney Hall, Brangwyn, du Maurier, W. L Wyllie, and 
others whose work is in the National Portrait Gallqry and many notable collec- 
tions, public and private. Half their contributions were unsigned; if I had not 
read about Sydney Hall’s adventures in Paris through the German siege and the 
Commune, I should not have known that his were various sketches which I have 
now seized upon, sixty-two years after their journey to London by balloon post. 
The files containing their work are boneyards of dim antics, acres of which must 
be turned over for the treasure amid the splinters. Nevertheless, they give a truer 
perspective than can be got from Punch’s mannered brilliance, and through 
to-day’s spectacles their illustration is even more comic, because the comedy is 
unintended. Engravings by the hundred thousand were sifted by my collaborator, 
Miss Irene Clephane (to whom I owe sincerest thanks for her " discriminating 
work) to find the several thousands from which I chose the hundreds, the high 
lights, in Our Fathers. The period quotations that give them point, collected from 
many sources, are in every case authentic. I have received, and am very grateful 
for, correction from distinguished authorities — Sir John Fortescue in military 
history, Mr. John Buchan in political history and Empire occasions, Professors 
J. B. S. Haldane and H. Levy in nineteenth century science, Mr. Norman Ewer 
in international occasions. 

Sinoe the illustrations are by other hands, I may offer the opinion that they tell 
their story as clearly as Academy canvases by Millais and Herkomer told theirs. 
The chapter on ma'nners and morals needs as key only a brief reference to in- 
tangible change below the surface here displayed. In every class the years between 
1870 and 1900 ^ro'ught vastly altered habit, status, religious outlook, sex relations, 
education, amusement, health, work, leisure, and contact with ideas from the 
Continent. I quote from Mr. R. H. Gretton’s admirable Modern History of the 
English People: “A Rip Van Winkle of 1810, waking into 1850, would have been 
completely bewildered by the steam-engine; but he might have passed the re- 
mainder of his life in conversation which he would have enjoyed and found 
reasonably familiar. A Rip Van Winkle of 1870, waking in 1910, while he would 
have grasped the principle of the motor car in twenty minutes, would never have 
been on conversational terms with his neighbours; he would have found that he 
did rifet know what they were talking about.” 

England in 1870 was still divided and sub-divided into the classes and the 
masses. Snobbery was all-embracing. “Society” in London was small, narrow, and 


5 



OUR FATHERS 


devastatingly well-bred. “High Life” and ornate equipages, with footlnen on the 
boards, lingered on in a London Season which lasted from January to July. Land 
and the Funds were the socially recognised forms of wealth. Politics and the 
Services provided the genteel careers, though a younger son could enter the 
Church if he werf earnest or rather queer, perhaps the Bar if he were clever, 
and the Foreign Office if he obtained an influential nomination. The rest of the 
Civil Service, like banking, was held to be half a step lower. 

The doctor, the merchant, the solicitor were placed further down, and neces- 
sarily in the middle classes. All artists except Sir Frederick Leighton, all authors 
except Mr. Tennyson, were dubious. The squirearchy ruled the countryside, but 
was committing slow, gentlemanly, unintelligent hara-kiri before its trinity of the 
fox, the horse, the pheasant. A woman’s property was her husband’s. Smoking 
in mixed company was forbidden, and needed the ritual of the velvet jacket, the 
tasselled cap and the smoking-room. It was not done before “ladies,” though it 
was done before women — at the music halls, say, or at Evans’s in Covent Garden, 
or any of the resorts frequented by lusty males but not discussed in the all-powerful 
home circle. The crinoline had gone (Victoria had helped to speed it away) but 
the bustle was on the horizon. Ladies wore backward flounces, accentuating their 
flanks, on skirts draped down to their toe-tips; “killing” coats that protruded over 
the skirt-flounces; and lots of hair-plaits at the back of the head. Whiskers, top 
hats, check trousers were as worn by gentlemen. 

The Queen was in retirement, though Albert had been gone for years. The 
Prince of Wales, married and a father, was not yet able to break, even socially, from 
maternal strings. It was still a deucedly straight-laced England in manners 
and morals; and, despite Disraeli, an insular England to whom Americans were 
queer fish and Frenchmen and Dutchmen, Russians and such men were those 
foreigners (Germans were better received because of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha — also, 
they were respectably serious). Statesmen (again despite Disraeli), divines, 
historians, editors, biographers, employers of labour and heads of families were 
awesome ones and — on the standards set later by the eighteen-nineties — bombastic 
bores. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” was as potent as Rule 
Britannia. 

Girls had their orgies of archery, polka, water colours, sensibilities, Valentines 
and clandestine correspondence. Young men worked hard, but found time to be 
raffish in Regent Street, or ogle in Birdcage Walk, and regretted the siege of Paris 
because it cut off the intermittent headquarters for naughtiness and. the needs of 
the flesh. Good works abounded, including the teaching of heathen in the 
Dark Continent that because nudity was taboo in England, black loins and 
busts should be covered on the Gold Coast. It was assumed, and even believed, 
that throughout life (and fiction had to follow the rule) wrongdoing brought 
inevitable retribution in this world, but that virtue would be rewarded in the next. 
Income tax, during the trade depression, rose from tuppence to fivepence m the 
pound. Telephones and electric light were years distant. England was the greatest 
nation; and much of it was a sleepy hollow. 

" 6 



MANNERS AND MORALS 


The eighteen-eighties did not change all that, but they made a start. “Society” 
broadened out with the rising fortunes in shipping and manufacture, which became 
fielSs for investment by professional people and the aristocracy. The middle 
classes, growing much more powerful, also grew more light-hearfcd. In manners, 
the Veneerings of Streatham might copy the De Vaes of Belgravia, but their 
grown-up sons and daughters were pioneers of new sports and testheticisms which 
the aristocracy copied in its turn. Willowy, “arty” young women appeared in the 
streets, self-transformed into projections from Burne-Jones and Rossetti. The 
“souls” and their imitators happened. Evening dresses reached down to the toes, 
but exposed most things above the middle. Oscar Wilde and Whistler entered the 
salons, and met royalty. In the drawing-rooms, music 5 hall songs joined the lacka- 
day-sweet-lady type of ballad. Phineas T. Barnum’s removal of Jumbo the 
elephant from the Zoo was “stunted” on almost Northcliffe lines. Agnosticism 
made headway, evolution gained ground from a fundamentalist Deity (science, 
despite William James, was held to be an inevitable deicide)^ The grave* and 
reverend signors, including heads of families, were sometimes argued against; and 
W. S. Gilbert could mock, without causing much resentment: 

Morality, heavenly link. 

To thee I’ll eternally drink! 

Oh, I’m awfully fond of that heavenly bond. 

Morality, heavenly link! 

All this did not apply in much of England outside London. Mr. Gladstone 
was the most popular personage, and his self-righteousness percolated through the 
nation. The evangelising group — Lords Shaftesbury and Kinnaird, the Buxton 
family, and others— were also powerful; and the Church roused fervour with its 
disputes over ritual and its frictions with the Nonconformists. Christians furiously 
raged together. The Sabbath was still a dreary day upon which only the lost 
played cards. 

Change, moreover, was twisted and restricted by the solidity of the queen’s 
reign. Although she was secluded, the shadow of the self-willed old lady, shaped 
by her inevitably fixdd opinions after such a reign, was across the land. In the 
’eighties the Prihce of Wales asserted himself socially, and the London season 
revolved around himself and Princess Alexandra. But the frivols of the Marl- 
borough House set pricked reforming tongues into protest; Archbishop Benson was 
invited (and declined) to interfere. 

The advance guard of the ’nineties managed later to free the nation from its 
pall of earnestness. Prosperity and easy transport loosened most habits, and’ the 
weight of new wealth that came to Park Lane with South African millionaires, or 
to Belgravia from the Empire-gorged City, bore down all opposition against 
the ta?tes of its owners. The queen was a great sentiment in the background. 
Mr. Gladstone* was out of the picture; Lord Salisbury was aloof; Joe Chamber- 
lain. ex-Mayor of Brummagem, was becoming the focus of statecraft. The art 


7 



OUR FATHERS 


rebels of the ’eighties had won their day, and their successors were all for stylised 
artificiality. The Savoy and Yellow Book band did their damnedest to shock the 
bourgeois, but found it not so easy, since bourgeois had become a term of general 
reproach. The Oscar Wilde scandal drew horror upon the sins of society; but a 
sequence of causes celebrej in the divorce courts merely increased the vogue for 
brilliant problem-plays by Pinero and Henry Arthur Jones. It was an era of great 
ladies and professional beauties, most of them friendly with the Prince of Wales; 
and these introduced into their salons “the higher Bohemianism.” The week-end 
habit arrived with safety bicycles. London was no longer strait-laced in 
anything save its horrid corsets. Except in the villages and the manufacturing 
cities, the Victorian era proper ended several years before Victoria died; always 
with the proviso that what was sauce for the goose was not sauce for the gosling 
and young gander — mid-Victorianism continued to dominate the tone of educa- 
tion, and in the schools the tenets were those of Arnold of Rugby, not Matthew 
Arnold. 

There remains only to mention, for my purpose in this chapter, an aspect of 
the era which but one historian of its manners and morals seems to have analysed 
— the cult of the double bed. Among all that the Victorian period produced, the 
aspect most vital to ourselves was over-population. Dr. Wingfield-Stratford, in T he 
Victorian Tragedy, which is as incisive as it is deliciously written, says, “The 
Victorians were careful to invest the marriage chamber with a taboo of absolute 
secrecy . . . That room was the Holy of Holies in the vast chamber of middle- 
class domesticity . . . ‘Mama’ toiled and intrigued, with indefatigable zeal, that 
she might see the last of her brood of daughters pass beyond her ken and 
authority into the Unmentionable. To attain this consummation, innocent Flora 
exposed a virginal bosom, and pinched and expanded her contour to hint at 
charms that nature never owned . . . Once the goal was attained and the door 
closed, there was no appeal and no escape ... If a wife left her husband it 
was assumed that this could only be with a blackguard of the deepest dye and 
the longest Dundrearys, who would abandon her, penniless, to the Thames or 
the school room.” 

Parents-in-law, as well as husbands, however gentle both might otherwise be, 
demanded children and yet more children. Nor was there often anxiety by wives, 
whatever the supertax on their strength, to shirk the sacred task. The double bed 
(there are survivors who still feel that single beds in marriage are hardly nice) was 
a hidden Ark of the Covenant before which passed the tramp, tramp, tramp of 
men, women and many more children than the country could maintain when 
commercial development halted. Its hidden cult was the motive behind most of 
the Victorian morals and manners, including the romantic idealism so frequently 
attained in Victorian marriage. It was one reason why the queen, nine times a 
mother, was so completely a symbol of her time. Its tyranny helped to bring 
about a violent reaction against the Victorian code; and its power explains much 
about Victorian expansion and Victorian greatness. 



MANNERS AND MORALS 

1888 



ROTUNDH Y IN THE ALBERT HALL “ Madam Christine Nil Ison, the great Swedish Singer, 
bade farewell to the English public at the Albert Hall last Wednesday, following her second 
marriage, to the Gount Casa di Miranda. The vast audience in the magnificent edifice recalled her 
again and again, until at last she ended with a third rendering of ‘ Angels Ever Bright and Fair 9 99 


9 






PRINCE ARTHUR [AFTERWARDS DUKE OF CONNAUGHT] AT DEJEUNER: “The 
visit to the People’s Park, Aston, Birmingham was marred by rain, which came in through the 
ranvas of the grand luncheon tent. Many had to hold an umbrella in one hand, and ply their knife 
or fork alternately with the other. While on the grounds, the Prince was obliged to keep up his 
jmbrella with the left hand and his hat with the right, while on his arm he had the Countess of Bradford” 


1872 



“CHATSWORTH ORANGERY ILLUMINATED DURING THE PRINCE’S VISIT” 


TI 





SHEPHERD’S HOTEL, CAIRO : “ If the new Suez Canal, diverting the traffic from its present course, should render Shepherd’s desolate, 
the name will remain a pleasant memory. There will always be a rare aroma about it. It is hoped, however, that Anglo-Indians will 
■continue to find it a half-way-house on the long, tiring journey between home and home, a resting place, an idling place, a flirting place 






MANNERS AND MORALS 



ij 


HOLIDAY TIME ON THE SANDS AT THE NEWLY POPULAR RESORT OF MARGATE. 




OUR FATHERS 


1870 



QUEEN MARY SIXIY ARS AGO A mointng dn\c in a goat cait for Princccs Mary 
and her brother Adolphus in the gr< unds of W hite Lodge, Richmond Fraqpis, the new baby 
born this >car to the Duke and Du he s c f led is in his mother’s arms ” (Engraved bv 
\\ Small, fr jm a phe t mraph ty W & D Downey) 




MANNERS AND MORALS 


THE MAYOR OF LIMERICK WEDS THE SHANNON : “ Eveiy seven years the Ma 
proceeds down the river, and shoots an arrow as far as he can. This year’s proceedings w 
harmonious untiPFather Quaid delivered a Home Rule speech. Mild disorder followed until 
Mayor (Mr. John J. Cleary) announced that any subject might be discussed except politics’ 








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THE GRAND NATIONAL ARCHERX MEETING AT LEAMINGTON “ The shooting at 
the Shrublands w as unusualh good and v e mat note that Mrs Homiblow u as the champion, while 
Mr. Fisher headed the gentlemen \X c hat e depicted the ‘Rose Queen of the Garden of Gills’ t iking 
aim Whatever execution she did ruth her ariows, she must have done far more vuth her eyes” 

1882 


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ARCHERY AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE “The first of the great archery competitions of 
the Season took place amid weather free from wind or glare, so that many bowmen declared they 
had never shot under more delightful circumstances A liberal list of prizes u as provided For 
golds Miss Bardswell (\X imbledon Archers) secured first place with a ‘ pin hole ’ at 60 yards.” 



IN THE COURT OF DI\ ORCE ‘ Things uc not \x hat tl e\ sc cm in the Divorce Court. 
As a rule the feminine petitioners arc prettier thin the lcspondcnu Under the jury-box is a 
gentleman of intentionally fascinating appearance, a culled d ulin > of a man, dressed not wisely 
but too swell He is, of course, a co respondent A clesci guess I He is the petitioner; and 
the co-respondent is that brutal looking man, in appearand, the beau ideal of a xvife-beater. Far 
too many ladies crow d the Court and listen unabashed to details the icportcts tan barely mention ” 






OUR FATHERS 






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“DR L1MNGSTONF f PRFSLMr Stanlex sent b\ the \i> 1 uti. lJernH to search tor 
Dr Livingstone, tv ho had disappeared into Darkest Afnca nearh thiee j ears before suddenly 
found the missing explorer At the eastern shotc of Lake fan -.am ika, he saw amom; a group ot 
Arabs a pale looking grej bearded man in a blue jacl et and a na\ al cap \\ ith a faded gold hand 
He was overcome with |o\ but decided on icstramt betoic the \iabs He ad\ anted saluted 
and said Dr Luinastonc 1 presume ■* 1 he \x hite stran ei leplicd simph \es 




i VI II) „ 




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BLUEJACKETS MARCHING TO CHURCH AT SHEERNESS” 
by J. E. Hodgson, A.R.A. 


1882 



u 


SUNDAY SCHOOL ON BOARD A REFUGEE SHIP : Following the bombardment of 
Alexandria, refugees were taken aboard the British ship ‘ Rosina,’ upon which Sunday School was 
held for the homeless children, whose favourite hymn was ‘ There is a happy land, far, far, away.’ ” 

■9 





SHOW-lJP SUNDAY IN THE BROAD WALK AT OXFORD : “ Oafotdis full of ladies for 
the Sunday proceedings. Comely mammas, pretty sisters, fascinating cousins abound, and it is 
the ‘ thing ’ to stroll under the chestnuts of the Broad Walk. Even the ‘ Don ’ is a proud and 
happy man, who, to the envy of his unprovided comrades, supports a fair one on either arm ” 


21 








MANNERS AND MORALS 



“ A MODF.RN LONDON MUSIC-HALL : The Mogul in Leicester Square, which is very different from such resorts as the ‘ Cave of 
Harmony ’ immortalised by Mr. Thackeray. The pipe and rhe pot are still invariable accompaniments of the performances ; but unbecom- 
ing behaviour is very rare, and many of I he songs might be heard in drawing-rooms of persons who consider they frequent the best society ” 


OUR FATHERS 



24 






g 



“THE PROSECUTION AT BOW STREET OF DR. SLADE, THE SPIRIT .MEDIUM: 
Above, counsel for the prosecution, cross-examining the prisoner 1 1 wonder whether the spirits 
will appear in Court to-day.’ Below, Professor E. Ray Lankester, giving evidence : .1 I watched 
you writing on the slate. You are a scoundrel and an impostor.’ Mr. Maskelyne demonstrated 
in Court how writing on the slate had been invisibly manipulated by a well trained expert ” 


26 





A SPIRIT CAPTURED BY A SITWELL : “ Sir George Sitwell and Mr. Von Buch having 
been told that the seances of the British National Association of Spiritualists were the most genuine 
in England, these two young gentlemen attended three sittings to investigate. At the third the 
medium was caught in flagrante delicto, having left some of her garments in the cabinet, while she 
walked baftfooted as a spirit. The Society’s explanation was that while honest Mrs. Comer was 
in a trance, some tricksy spirit made her disrobe. Sir George Sitwell and Mr. Von Buch are to 
be congratulated on showing up the craze for trying to lift futuiity’s impenetrable veil” 


*7 





1872 


OUR F \THERS 



28 




MANNERS AND MORALS 



*9 



OUR FATHLRS 


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1 1IL MORMON BISHOP kND IHl Li I \TILr Pei hips this scene sketehed by our 
j.rti->t ne-u S Jt L-il c Cita 'ice turns tot the t ict thaL the Mentions dislike Gentiles ’ — or only 
like them jt 1 distinct I he tells of the M lm n Bishop s w n es me lone; and gauzv, giving 
them a s\lph like mines-, w hilc, the mode in which thc\ wear their shawls suggest that they 
had taken a tashi n fr mi the ah n mal squaws n t act extinct in the neighbourhood” 


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‘ A LADIES’ GAME IN AN AMERICAN TEN PIN ALLEY This game is said to have 
onginated because nine pins became such a source of gambling that some States passed a law 
forbidding it An evasion was contrived by adding another pin, which was left on a shelf ” 






MANNERS AND MORALS 




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HAIRCUTTING IN TEXAS : “ Many English people have settled in Texas recently. The 
State is not yet fully settled, and most of the residents wear much the same dress as Buffalo Bill. 
Though work around the house is for everybody, there arc many pleasures in mutual helpful- 
ness, a simple life, and, despite mosquitoes and other insects that bite, an almost perfect climate ” 






THE PRINCE AT BADEN BADEN “ This \ ear Baden Baden has been ct cn gay er than usual, 
owing to the jubilee of the International Club Our picture shows the Prince of Vie ales talking to 
Mr Cot entry, the gentleman rider, w ho rode the Pnnce s horse Scott in the Grand Steeplechase ” 


1885 



ROYAL VICTORIAN I URNISHINGS Princess Beatrice Queen V ictoria’s fat ourite daughter, 
in her private roBm at Osborne shortly betore her marriage to Prince Henry of Battenberg 


32 






THE PASSING OF JOHN BROWN : “ The Queen riding with her trusted servant John Brown 
over the Aberdeenshire hills, from an engraving published shortly after his death. Of this famous 
steward, her personal attendant who accompanied her everywhere, the Queen wrote : ‘ He has all 
the independence and elevated feelings peculiar to the Highland race, and is singularly kindhearted’ ” 



“ FAIR FAINTERS AT THE JUBILEE : Ladies fainted freely in the terrific crush during the 
procession for the Queen’s Jubilee — as many as twenty in a row lay in Trafalgar Square” 


33 




OUR FATHERS 


1 


M 


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“MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE: The Wedding of Lady Theodora Cirosvenor, daughter of the 
second Marquis of Westminster, to Mr. T. Merthyr Guest, second son of the late Sir Josiah Guest, 
Bart., in the little village of Motcombe. Many hundreds of persons visited the market place to 
witness the roasting of a whole ox which was afterwards cut up and distributed to all comers. 
The marriage festivities were kept up for many days, the concluding event being a grand ball” 


' — - - ' " — ..-ui-rq u- ,"U ■ j ! .sgT 


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HIGH LIFE MARRIAGE IN SIERRA LEONE : “ Fine clothes arc the rule but horses the 
exception and all kinds of vehicles are pressed into service. The bride often heads the cortege in a 
bathchair, .while the bridesmaids, accompanied by black gentlemen on foot, follow in ham- 
mocks. There arc no bare feet among the party, an extremely ‘European* note being de rigueur ” 



MANNERS AND MORALS 


1881 



A QUAKER WEDDING “ Miss Margaict Sophia Bright, thud daughter of the Right Hon. 
John Bruht, MP, was married according to the Quaker ntcs to Di John Theodore Cash. 
After the tiadition'il ceremony a poem was lead, written foi the occasion, and including the lines 
‘ I John, take Friend Margaret here for my w ife. 

To be loving and faithful, while God gives us life . . . 

\o aows to the simple sweet promise lend force, 

\ct who ever heard of a Quaker duoice ' 


1887 



PART OF A \ IC TORI AN TAMILY * Ihc Scuptuics tell us, 4 Happy is the man that hath 
his quiver full ’ M de Lcsscps, of Suez Canal fame, should thcrefoie be one of the happiest men 
Our engra\ ing docs not represent the whole of his oli\e branches, as there are two babies still 
youngei t^ian die infant held by Madame dc Lcsscps in her arms, and also M. Charles de Lesseps 
(.the engineer), the adult son by the first wife of the veteran, who. was left a widower at the age of 
sixty-eight He is now eighty-si\ years of age , and in the interim he has been presented by 
his second wife a \oung Creole lady of remarkable beauty, with eleven children, nearly all girls.” 


35 




1 8 8 1 


OUR FATHERS 



THE PRINCE IN TANC\ DRESS I he I anev Ball organised by the Baden Club on the 28th 
ult was most spirited All the guests \%crc asked to adopt servants’ or peasants’ costumes, so the 
Prince of Wales, Prince Hermann of Sa\c ^ eimar and other friends created amusement b) appearing 
as cooks When the partv of marmitons entered to the strains of ‘ God Sa^ e the Queen,’ the 
Prince opened the Ball by a quadrille, and kept up this quaint character right merrily ** 


36 


MANNERS AND MORALS 

1895 



H.R.H. AT SHAKESPEARE’S TOMB : “ During his stay at Warwick the Prince of Wales paid 
a visit to Stratford-on-Avon, in honour of Shakespeare’s birthday. The Rev. G. Arbuthnot, 
vicar of Holy Trinity, took the Prince round the church and pointed out to his highly interested 
visitor the font in which Shakespeare was baptised and the tomb in which he was buried” 


37 



OUR FATHERS 



CtiLP.CH PA?-ADIL IN HYIDF. PAP.K : " Fashion r r n r trees :* to he bad forte to rice or drive 
on Sundays in the Park, and me iaws o: Fashion are usually more reaaiiy obeyed rhiti the laws of 
Moses, though, in this particular instance, they happen to agree. 'Walking, however, is the 
correct thing, and for many years past it has been a pleasant custom for the denizens of the ad .aceat 
Belgtavian streets to meet after church near the Achilles Statue, and exchange friendly greetings 


58 







MANNERS AND MORALS 


1891 



MAYTIME FROLIC: “This very pretty scene took place on Saturday before 10,000 spectators. 
The whole village of St. Mary Cray was decorated from end to end. About twenty girls, in classical 
costumes designed by Mr. Johnson, of the paper mills, took the Maypole ribbons and danced 



“SOCIETY IN THE ROYAL ENCLOSURE at Ascot”: by Arthur Hopkins, R.W.S. 


39 





VICTORIA WITH VICTORIA ALEXANDRIA VIOLET: “Queen Victoria acted as 
Godmother at the christening of the infant daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Portland, in 
the private chapel of Windsor Castle, and approved the names Victoria Alexandrina Violet ” 

40 













MANNERS AND MORALS 



9 





MANNERS AND MORALS 


1895 



THE B^RN DVNCE AT THE KHEDIVE’S STATE BALL IN CAIRO 

1894 



HIE BARN DANCE ON BOARD HMS “ MAJESTIC,” flagship of the Channel Squadion 


45 







A RECEPTION TO JTIIF \BB 1 LISZT “The soiree given bv Mr Walter Bache (8) in 
honour of the Abbe Liszt (s) \i s attended bv a distinguished companv, including Mi G Idschmidt 
(i), Sir Arthur Sulln in (2) Mr \u ust Manus (3) Ret Hcnr\ White (4) Mr W Shal spcaie (6), 
Herr T c achim (7) Mr ( happcll (9) Sir T Leichton P R V (10) Mme Antoinette Sterling (11), 
Mr Chaiks 1 1 ilk (4 ’) Mme Mh-ini ( ) and Sir Geoige Maefarren (14) Liszt armed a little 
aftei nut and a perf 1 mnee devoted evelusntlv to the master s u oil s commenced without dclav ” 



SIMS REEVES TAKING MALL) IO I 1 IL GARDEN ‘ Ample and varied entertainment 
was provided at the monster Conversazione at South Kensington Museum Mr Sims Reev cs, who 
was m excellent voice sant? ‘Dream Memories, followed by ‘ Come into the Garden, Maud’” 


46 


“ ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON WALKING WITH HIS NURSE ON FRESHWATER 
DOWNS ” (A sketch from life by Reginald Cleaver, a few months before the Laureate’s death) 







MANNERS AND MORALS 



49 


TI IFRE AIN’T A LIDY IN THE LAND I’D S'* OP FOR ME DEAR OLD DUTCH ” : Albert Chet alter in i West End di awing room 



OUR FATHERS 


1874 



AN UNDRESS OPERATIC Rrill \RS\L AT CO\ LNT GARDEN It is difficult to 
belies c in Lucia di Limmcrmoot when \ _>u see her m* seal si in ncktt and Madame Angot bonnet, 
nor does Ed ardo impress sou as much as hL micht when he has 1 tall hat and an umbrella ’ 



CHOOSING THE GAITTY CIIORUS * Mrs Johnson the chorus mistress, ak.es her 
seat at the piano, the stage manager beams pleasantly, while the call boy strolls casually 
toward the group of girls huddled in the background A tall girl hurries down the stage, 
and stands facing the empty theatre, where only a housemaid sweeping out the gallery 
represents the brilliant Gaiety audience” 
jo 



MANNERS AND MORALS 


1889 



“ CHILDREN IN PANTOMIME In this sketch tv e see fuLh trained pupils going through com 
plicated evolutions at reheaisal with a comparative ease that enables their mistress, Madame Katti 
Lanncr to snatch a hastt lunch while keeping an ever watchful eye upon their performance ” 


1871 



ALICES IN PANTOMIME WONDERLAND “ \\ e all went to Covent Garden panto 
mime in an omnibus w ith a gentleman 1 friend of Mamma’s — I mustn’t mention his name I’m 
the little girl in the left hand comer, with her hands clutched, only I’m sure I didnt clutch my 
hands because I know how to behave when I m out ” (From a young girl’s account in Tie Graphic) 

Ji 




OUR FATHERS 



FORTY THIEVES AND A PLUMP PRINCIPAL BOY. Abdullah djing in Kassarac’s arms 
at the Cnstal Palace pantomime “ as resplendent a display of theatre beauties is sc remember” 

1892 



z 




886 



‘ D \ISY SlI ILL RUN —SCENE TROM ‘A RUN OF LUCK’ “Mr Augustus 
Harris has certainly scoted another very decided success with the new sporting drama he has 
u ritten for Drurv Lane Our scene represents one of the most thrilling incidents of the piece 
•a hen the hero’s mare, Daisi seized for debt by the villain vi hen about to start at Goody ood, is 
released by the timcli appearance of her ou ner’s father carrying in banknotes the sum owing 
to the dishonest bookmakers She is released and wins, redeeming her on ncr s fortune ” 


1883 



NELLY TAffREN CONNIE GILCHRIST, AND PHYLLIS BROUGHTON “ Miss Farren’s 
‘ Ariel ’ \i ith her sprightly grace and the brilliant sparks of electric lighting upon her wings, went 
far to atone for many shortcomings in Mr Burnand’s new extravaganza ‘ Ariel ’ at the Gaiety” 


5 j 





OUR FATHERS 


1885 



A LADIES’ SKETCHING CLUB NEAR DORKING drawn by Arthur Hopkins. 


54 




“OF D WCjJ R ALL LKCONSCIOUS ” “ Mr Chariton his here illustrated one ot the familiar 
dangcib 1 1 the London ioad\i n s A hinsom cab driver, acting undci the policeman s directions, 
has just pulled up his horse in time to avoid running over two children. On the whole, the Metro- 
politan thoroughfares are now safer for pedestrians than they were thirty or forty years ago There 
was no noiseless asphalt pavement in those dais and no bicycles swiftly stealing down upon the 
unwarv but, on the other hand there w ere no street refuges and no constables to regulate the traffic” 


J5 


OUR FATHERS 


1882 



RATIONAL DRESS FOR LADIES “ At the Hjgienic \\ earing Apparel Exhibition the chief 
object of attraction was Lady Harberton’s ‘ divided skirt ’ — a skirt divided to clothe each leg scpa 
lately, the underclothing being arranged as most convenient Over it an ordinary dress skirt is worn” 





1890 



MADAM ARAMINTE CAME IN WITH SOME FASCINATING HATS : “ Just then Madam 
Araminte came in with some fascinating hats. I chose one with a smart brim and some 
luscious foliage on the crown to wear at the bazaar opened by Princess Mary of Teck. I and fire 
other girls had a flower stall and we ail looked very nice. Our stall made more money than any 
of the others, which was so nice for the poor, wasn’t it ? ” (From a Debutante’s Diary) 


57 












THE RISE OF WOMAN 


I believe the Victorian woman, as she has painted herself on the twentieth 
century’s canvas, to be a portrait in fancy dress. History, or auto-suggestion, has 
pulled posterity’s leg. A resolute queen tighdy held the throne’s privilege, and 
went beyond it to argue against the policies of great ministers. She was also a 
strict mother who adored (and romanticised) first her husband and then his 
memory. The first lady in the land, the Empire and the white world became the 
symbol of womanly woman, while collaborating as an equal with the best brains 
in politics. Womanly woman had to be the fagade for womanhood in general, 
especially when manly Alberts by the hundred thousand expected thgir opposite 
from what they called The Sex. The role, in a land not yet over-populated; was 
easy and convenient. Among the rich, woman was presented as half-goddess and 
half bric-a-brac, and among the rest her part was the tender spouse if married, or if 
unmarried the ministering angel, whether to orphans, poorer people or Hottentots. 

Mass-suggestion, arising out of a social code, is still a great game played slowly. 
It was a greater one among the Victorians; witness their tenet that virtue and 
chastity must triumph always, while wrong-doing must lead to retribution’s 
wrath (often they do, but quite often they don’t, and it is a further truism that 
many of the Victorian virtues were not Christ’s). Just as the female body, like a 
lift, moves its apparent waist up and down to meet the mode, so did the female 
personality take social shape adopted to the accepted idea of a captive in the home, 
a fragility under protection; sweet virgins merging into docile matrons. 

There was enough truth in the uncompleted picture to make it plausible; and 
we are inclined to believe in it because contrast flatters the twentieth century 
species. But consider a reconstruction of the girl of our own period, done in 1980 
from novels and articles published between 1920 and 1930. A cropped, agile, 
boyish, knee-flaunting, selfish, purposeful, pretty, ungracious, vital, rude, enjoy- 
ment-mad non-maiden, obsessed by sex and complex; physically brave but morally 
feeble; knowing more about carburettors than cooking; whacking every kind of 
ball when not swilling every kind of cocktail; intelligent in fits and pretentious in 
starts; flying half across the world and finding contentment nowhere; entering 
all professions but influencing none; marrying early and often, and forever talking 
about her too talk-making self. Better than I, lady, you know that to be a carica- 
ture. Nevertheless, it is what books and journals from the nineteen-twenties will 
oiler as model for a portrait. 

There is less reason for the smelling-salt distortion of Victorian woman than 
there is for the cocktail-shaker one of our own young person, since Victorian 
literature, from Dickens to Samuel Butler by way of Thackeray and Trollope, 


59 


E 



OUR FATHERS 


was rich in ruling wives, while no comic paper dared bring out an issue -without 
a hen-pecked husband (a type now almost extinct, although the chicken-pecked 
abound). And the “shaikh,” as lover, is a fictional product of our Ojjvn time; the 
only ones I can recall from Victorian literature are the Heathcliff and the Rochester 
created by Emily and Charlotte Bronte, tameless spinsters. Mr. Moulton-Barrett, 
of Wimpole Street, flourished under Victoria, but so did many Mrs. Caudles and 
Lady Caudles. 

The truth is that only early Victorian women were fragile fainters, upon whom 
strong males could pull the Heathcliff. And even these brought up the Bronte 
sisters, Florence Nightingale, George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina 
Rosetti, and Josephine Butler. Mid-Victorian women established for themselves a 
scheme of things far more comfortable than that of their fore-runners under the 
Regency or in the eighteenth century. To be arbiter of the home and ruler of 
the bedchamber was a right won by years of subtle assertion, and seldom ceded 
except by weaklings. Beyond that, they had reformed their males out of raffish 
habits learned under George IV, and had made the smoking-before-ladies taboo a 
symbol of family refinement. Going further, they made themselves the jury of 
culture, the controllers of uplift, the assessors of gentility and community life. 

It was the late Victorians that generated “the new woman” in quantity. Her 
worst difficulty was not male resentment (though this had to be faced) but 
obstruction from the full weight of feminine opinion, of which Queen Victoria 
was the apex. Twice during the ’eighties reforming bodies canvassed the Com- 
mons, and discovered a private majority for woman’s suffrage. Mr. Gladstone (like 
Mrs. Gladstone) made a dead set against it; but even without his veto against 
effective attention, a voting majority would still not have come into the lists, 
because such a measure ran counter to the social formula dispensed by the sheltered 
woman in bulk. And while men sponsored, though with heavily amused patron- 
age, the arrival of “the golf girl,” the squire's lady often used her to point an Awful 
Warning. The only feminist demands with a majority support from women con- 
cerned personal property. Even the queen and the squire’s lady held it to be wrong 
that before the ’eighties married women should have no legal rights in their own 
possessions (until 1870 they were not entitled to keep their own earnings). 

They must have been brave ones indeed, the pioneers in corset and bustle who 
walked ahead, knowing that round the corner they would be ambushed by scandal. 
Censors in side-whiskers led shock-charges of impropriety to enforce the boudoir 
rulings. Agitation by a woman against a social rot relating to sex was an offence 
against the predominant niceness; and, as in the case of a divorce scandal, the 
punishment was ostracism. Josephine Butler came near social martyrdom when 
she first forced upon the national conscience the position of “fallen women,” and 
started public agitation over the age of consent. 

Instinct told the pioneers that higher education was needed for emancipation. 
“I have often,” Defoe had written in his Essay on Projects, “thought of it as one 
of the most barbarous customs in the world, considering us as a civilised and a 
Christian country, that we deny the advantage of learning to women. We reproach 

60 



THE RISE OF WOMAN 


the sex every day with folly and impertinence, while I am confident, had they the 
advantage of education equal to us, they would be guilty of less than ourselves.” 

Stray yoyng women, well chaperoned, crept almost surreptitiously into the 
lecture rooms of universities, or persuaded professors to give them private read- 
ings. Emily Davies, through her energetic collections, was able in 1870 to buy 
land to house girl students at Hitchin, and then to move her college near to Cam- 
bridge; and so began Girton, which claimed to be far enough from the men 
students for moral safety. Professor Henry Sidgwick, in 1871, adapted a house in 
Cambridge itself as a feminine college; and so began Newnham, with Anna 
Jemima Clough as principal. Oxford’s Somerville and Lady Margaret Hall arrived 
late in the ’seventies, 

With prudes for proctors, dowagers for deans, 

And sweet girl graduates in their golden hair. 

It has not been recognised how gready Lord Tennyson’s line contributed, 
through his reputation for the orthodox, toward giving the girl graduate respect- 
ability at a time when she was a strange animal. Her sweetness, however, dwelt in 
her solemnity rather than in allurement. She was deadly serious. The pioneers, 
to whom social reform had earlier given a sense of mission, taught her that to fail 
in an examination was to dim a torch for the future of womanhood. 

Teaching was at first the only outlet after college. Graduates dispersed into 
high schools, new and old, and injected them with earnestness and erudition. 
Some founded on their own schools “for the daughters of gentlefolk,” some 
appeared on the School Boards in London and the northern cities. Other citadels 
fell more hardily. Hands froze in horror before ample bosoms when women 
doctors tried to qualify. Elizabeth Garret Anderson, refused a degree by London 
University and not admitted to study in English hospitals, took her medical 
doctorate in Paris. Sophia Jex-Blake went for hers to Berne and Dublin. Because 
of the obstruction from niceness, years of endeavour by the London School of 
Medicine for Women passed before either could set up in regular practice. 

Medicine, education and occasional journalism were the only professions opened 
(W. T. Stead employed a woman on the regular staff of his Pall Mall Gazette, but 
she was alone in Fleet Street until The Daily Mail’s foundation in the ’nineties 
introduced the sob-sister as reporter). The arts offered a wider opportunity, but 
in painting only Lady Butler reached Academy eminence between 1870 and 1900; 
cavalry charges on Salisbury Plain were specially arranged for her attention. And 
an odd thing was that women’s literary attainments among the late Victorians, who. 
saw feminine emancipation, were far below those among the early Victorians, who 
made the emancipation necessary. It could not have been a case of cause and effect; 
now that emancipation has run amok, our women writers are a band unexampled 
in period literature. 

With so much turmoil in education and social reform, the agitation over 
woman’s suffrage hesitated in the background. It was a delicious note that a body 

61 



OUR FATHERS 


calling itself the Kensington Ladies Discussion Society should have been its earliest 
political organisers, who stood behind John Stuart Mill’s effort in 1870, le'ading 
to a Second Reading . in the Commons. After Mill, Rhoda Garrett became 
public orator of the cause, Lydia Becker its lobbyist and the Women’s Suffrage 
Committee its headquarters. Without arousing wide interest, they held meetings 
that heartened the converted. Still-born resolutions appeared and disappeared in 
Parliament. Outside Parliament the movement won ground slowly, while its 
opposition became active through petitions that included the signature of Mrs. 
Humphrey Ward, that intellectual she-elephant. 

It was ironic that, amid all the fighting endeavour over things of the mind, 
a bodily phase should have done most to save the late Victorian girl from being a 
fixture in the home. The sudden rage for sport, which coursed through England’s 
veins in the ’eighties, did not impel the young person to cast off stuffiness 
with a quick bound; but it did carry her into an attractive form of self-assertion, 
without strain upon the intelligence which she did not yet use in quantity. The 
elders of nioeness wanted to hold back the girl who golfed and played tennis with- 
out benefit of chaperon; but her advantage in health was an argument insulated 
against sane disapproval. And, energetic games being conceded, a rational dress 
could not be kept waiting for long. The freedom of the limbs came with little 
effort. Swaddled legs served for croquet, but soon became impossible for tennis 
worth the name. By the time when safety bicycles permitted excursions over 
fragrant miles in mixed young company, it could be noted that girls had not only 
hocks but a rising curve for calves (this apart from the short-lived revival for cycling 
of Mrs. Amelia Bloomer’s rotund costume, which Amelia herself had abandoned 
in 1865). Exercise in the open was as pleasant an emancipation as any in history. 

# # # # * 

As postscript, I should point out that generalisations on the women of any 
era must be half-truths. I have erred, through condensation, in making statements 
too downright for human nature in its fullness. Victorian women, on their different 
background, were as varied and fundamentally unchanging as those to whom a 
glut of newsprint has been given in recent years (the generalisations on what 
modern woman is, is not, should be and may become are as fabulous as the Jabber- 
wock, but less amusing). It is, though, a completely rounded fact that some 
women in the last thirty years under Victoria, whether blue-stockings or adven- 
turers in reform, dared the prevailing gods more bravely than is now possible, 
.even though a girl pilot flies round the world alone. Brought up under restrictions 
that hid their own nature and the simple meaning of sex, they tore down totems 
knowing that though their successors might benefit, they themselves could be 
sure only of resentment and ridicule. Their gravity and tension had absurd sides, 
of which Beachcombers of the period took advantage; but their fortitude, like 
their loneliness, stayed unrelenting. 



THE RISE OF WOMAN j 



A LADY B.A. OF LONDON UNIVERSITY: “Tennyson's ‘ Princess ' does not seem to 
have been published a great while ago, and yet what a change has taken place since then in female 
education 1 -The sweet girl graduate, then a pleasing fantasy, has now become a common object. 
The peculiar combination of ingredients, mental, moral, and physical that make up that delightful 
entity, a nice English girl, have not sensibly deteriorated. But girls arc more delicately organised 
than boys, and intellectual development at the cost of diminished bodily health is a bad bargain ” 


63 











OPERATORS AT WORK IN THE MAIN TELEGRAPH OFFICE IN LONDON "No 
fewer than 539 females are employed in this office alone, while the district branches are worked by a 
staff almost wholly composed of young and generally well-bred women, an experiment which has 
answered to perfection Both the Government and the public reap the advantage of this, since 
a trustworthy staff is obtained for far smaller salaries than w ould be paid to a similar class of men ” 


l88l 



"A MIXED LIFE CLA SS, WITH MALE MODEL, IN THE SLADE SCHOOL OF ART ” 

6) 





OUR FATHERS 


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THE RISE OF WOMAN 

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1882 


OUR FATHERS 



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“ SHOULD LADIES RIDE ASTRIDE ■* Conscrvatiees in the present controversy o\ er tiding 
astride for ladies hate made no use of their most powerful argument Nature did not build that 
lovely edifice, v. oman, with legs of sufficient length to throw over a horse Consequently she 
must either cling to the present graceful fashion, or resort to the ignominy of a chair ” 




STATE OCCASIONS 


Though Albert the Good had been nine years buried in 1870, Victoria stayed in a 
seclusion that was absolute except when foreign potentates arrived, royal princesses 
were married, or heroes from the wars came to be decorated. She saw Ministers, 
and from the background followed every inch of policy, but the shade of her lost 
Consort dimmed the Queen’s relations with her people. She became (if the point 
made be too refined) almost a myth to the nation, and unpopular. 

Even when potentates, princesses and heroes drew her forth, the classes saw 
her only through the eyes of artists for the illustrated journals, and the masses not 
at all; a solid little figure with a masterful mouth, swathed in a black crape robe 
surmounted by a white veil, and very rarely by a crown. A closed carriage was 
the rule in the streets, an isolated exception being the State drive to St. Paul’s in 
1872, for thanksgiving when the Prince of Wales recovered from typhoid. Vic- 
torianism in manners and the Home went on without direct impetus from its 
begetter. 

Princess Louise wedded the Marquess of Lome; a family event at Windsor. 
The Persian Shah came to England; the English Queen received him formally, 
but was pleased, and showed bleak amusement, when his odd friendship with the 
Princess of Wales opened the way for Alexandra to play deputy royal hostess. 
The Tsar of Russia arrived; his welcome was in Windsor’s privacy. She caused 
herself to be proclaimed Empress of India; the new title was trumpeted before 
Indian crowds with pageantry and imagery, but the Empress merely gave a 
banquet at which Disraeli, in conscious violation of etiquette, could propose the 
health of his plump Faery Queen. Flags were accepted and medals pinned on in 
Windsor Castle; Sir Garnet and other conquerors were bidden to Balmoral. Parlia- 
ment was usually opened by Royal Commission, instead of by the Queen’s 
presence; and in private letters Victoria complained against the thoughtlessness of 
those who wanted a lone widow woman to attend in person. She wandered from 
Osborne to Windsor, Windsor to Balmoral and back again. There were years 
when she never came to London. 

This invisibility caught the nation’s imagination in time. The mystery became 
august and the myth real after Disraeli had seen to it, during his last Ministry, 
that the country should learn of the sense of duty and the love of country behind 
the Queen’s isolation. Stories of kindness to cottagers near the castles (they were 
always thejady ones, for Victoria hated squalor and could not understand destitu- 
tion) helped to change the new interest into affection. By the middle of the 
’eighties England, stimulated by the very length of its lost contact, was eager 
for the Jubilee celebrations of 1887. 

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'2 



STATE OCCASIONS 


Old, stout, lame, the Queen dreaded the Abbey service /and the pomp in the • 
street?; she wept before leaving the Palace. She declined to wear State robes, and 
was the onlj^ royal personage not resplendent in a cavalcade unique in Europe’s 
history. Kings, Crown Princes from the West and East; seventeen sons, grandsons, 
sons-in-law and grandsons-in-law riding in brilliant uniforms behind her carriage; 
dazzlement everywhere; London hoarse from cheering. It was in the Abbey that 
her instinct to avoid State robes displayed its sureness. The kings, the princesses 
with flashing jewels, the Ambassadors and generals had taken their places when 
a little dumpy lady, in a black satin dress with white trimmings, chin erect under 
a black and white bonnet joined to a plain white train, alone before her train- 
bearers, walked very slowly to her seat of worship; Queen of England, Empress of 
India, mother to half the royalties in Europe, symbol of simplicity and grandeur. 
The contrast electrified the Abbey and the world outside. She intoned the 
responses, heard the Te Deum composed by her Albert thirty years earlier, kissed 
her relations, went back to meet the roaring mob. The day ended with the Queen 
who was a legend promoted to the status of best-loved reality in England. 

The ordeal over, she appeared more often. The dead Consort’s shadow lessened. 
Having shown herself to the people, she spoke to thousands of them, in a clear 
intonation, at the opening of the Imperial Institute. She visited Manchester to 
release the Ship Canal. She attended a few other functions in the early and 
middle ’nineties, and was pleased at evoking louder cheers than Edward and 
Alexandra could evoke. 

The Diamond Jubilee in 1897 was less royal and more Imperial. All the 
Colonial Premiers arrived, and Colonial troops varied the pageant. London 
went wild again, but repetition brought a touch of flatness. An Abbey 
ceremony as long as that of 1887 was impossible; the Queen’s vitality was ebbing 
(Gladstone, meeting her at Nice in the spring of the year, had noted that her mind 
wandered). A short service was held on the steps of St. Pauls, so that Victoria 
could attend in her carriage. Once more the contrast — simplicity in a bonnet sur- 
rounded by massed resplendency — rose above the day’s splendour. She was able to 
give a garden party at Buckingham Palace, which emptied Parliament to such an 
extent that Salisbury’s Government, with its cast-iron majority, met defeat three 
times in an afternoon. With the duty to celebrate finally fulfilled, she went back 
to the bath-chair comfort from which death took her in the first year of the ne# 
century. 


75 




ZULU AND AFGHAN _WAR HEROES: “The ceremony performed at Windsor was simple, brief and conducted in semi-privacy. The 
brave fellows who by special deeds of daring had earned Royal recognition, were drawn up in a corridor whither came the Queen, accompanied 
by Lord Chelmsford. Trooper Brown, Frontier Light Horse, in his velveteen and ‘ wide-awake ’ hat, was the object of much curiosity ” 





1874 


STATE OCCASIONS 



7J 


P 




OUR FATHERS 







AN ATTEMPT ON THE QUEEN “Intense horror and alarm were created all over the 
country by the attempt made to shoot the Queen Her Majesty, on reaching Windsor, had seated 
herself in a carnage drawn bv a pair of gre\ s, when the miscreant Maclean drew a revolt er and fired 
A photographer and several Eton bo; s rushed forward, and he was disarmed and arrested’ 


77 






IONS 



'9 


TEA AT SANDRINGHAM DURING THE QUEEN’S VISIT : ** The shooting party over, one is just in the mood, after a change of 
garments, to enjoy tea in the hall. The tea table is presided over by the Princess of Wales herself, as youthful in aspect as her own 
daughters. Guests seldom sit down to tea, but settle wherever they please, perhaps listening to a few rambling notes on the piano, or 
admiring the little green parrot on top of his cage, who gives three very emphatic cheers for the Queen during conversational pauses ” 



OUR FATHERS 



"NOT THE HAPPIEST MOMENT IN THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES’ LIVES It is not 
every day that a young man comes of age who is second m succession to the British Crown , and 
this is an occasion when the photographer is called — to be photographed is a penalty of the great 
It hardly gives them the happiest moments of their lives — as for example the group ‘ taken ’ the 
other day of the Duke of Clarence and Prince George with their royal parent* and sisters” 


80 





FXTRACTION OF A ROYAL TOOTH (from a sketch by Dr. J. A. Gray, surgeon to the Amk 
oS^S“I«™for by Prince Nasrulkh .who held; a rate 

for some little time, and then explained that a worm had eaten one of bis teeth and wa^u g 
him great pam. After examination, 1 decided that the worm-eaten c °°* ’? ad ° e "“ e ^ s ^ Hls 
A soldier was sent galloping off to the Kabul Hospital for a cat 

Highness seated himself in the chair, three pages being delegated to ** ^ 

hat, a spittoon, and a silver cup containing water. I fitted the f°r«ps Viat the oner- 

with a twist sf the wrist nulled it out. His H.ghness was eacecdmg^yjranhc^ Aayh^ op ^ 

atxon was successful, ana presented me with a suit of clothes, - , , , euard had 

too small for me. Glancing up as soon as it was over, I saw that the sold^s of 

formed themselves m double line as a guard of honour before the window clown me garuen 


OUR FATHERS 



JOE CHAMBERLAIN AND SOME CHIEFTAINS: “After the three Bcchuana chiefs 
laid their presents before Her Majesty’s feet at Windsor, they each received through ^lr. Chamber- 
lain, Secretary for the Colonics, a handsomely bound Bechuana Testament and a framed portrait 
of the Queen. They have been vastly impressed with all they have seen in England, but say they 
will be put down as romancers when they arrive home. They are luckier than Lobcngula’s envoys 
were, since they have no superior chief to tell them they are liars, and order their execution” 


82 



EMPIRE OCCASIONS 


Outside Westminster and Whitehall, the Englishman in 1870 knew little of his 
growing Empire. He hardly realised that he had one. The Indian Mutiny, the 
last Empire war of consequence, was ten years past; but although the East India 
Company’s provinces were now a Crown possession, the citizen at home continued 
to regard them as a place where nabobs made fortunes and careers were to be had 
for younger sons. 

Canada he vaguely considered a vast space coloured red on the map, consisting 
of snow, forest, furs and virgin land, with lonely Englishmen hewing down pines 
to build habitations. Redskins, picturesque but troublesome, hampered the adven- 
turous paleface, as did half-breeds and argumentative Frenchies; and the ring of 
rifles against the splosh-splosh of canoes completed his backwoods orchestration. 

Australasia was too remote for attention, except from large families without in- 
come who thought of emigration, or remittance men too wild for home consump- 
tion. The Antipodean picture was of squatters with slouch hats and pannikins of 
tea; the bush and bushranger, the stockwhip and rough justice; sheep, horses and 
Maoris, whom some held to be a breed of cattle. 

Africa was more actual. Diamonds had been found, and stories were about 
of sudden wealth to be had for the picking along the Vaal River. News of skir- 
mishes against the Kaffirs also helped to keep British South Africa in people’s 
minds; and the idea had already been propagated of how rugged Boer and high- 
minded Briton, on a background of ardently Christian principles, were some day 
to live in brotherhood under the Union Jack. Livingstone, lesser Livingstones, 
missionary societies, and crusaders against slave-trading helped to keep other parts 
of the Dark Continent in the national consciousness. 

Disraeli, who had the East in his eyes, rediscovered Imperialism for England. 
When he bought the Khedive’s Suez Canal shares (and in the same year the 
Prince of Wales reached Bombay) “the highway to India” became a phrase of the 
moment. Queen Victoria’s proclamation as Empress of India brought parlia- 
mentary criticism — “this preposterous innovation . . . this tawdry addition to the 
ancient style of the sovereign of England” — but it dazzled the nation. 

Annexation became a habit in the ’seventies, and in the ’eighties Gladstone 
could not stop it. The process was made popular as a regeneration for lands which, 
by error in the workings of Providence, had come into the possession of backward 
blacks or ( of white races unlit to govern. Fiji was annexed, Cyprus was ceded 
and annexed, Zululand, Basutoland and the territory of the Ashantis were annexed. 
Sir Bartle Frere, in South Africa, felt a dual mission to spread the Gospel and 
annex territory. Sir Theophilus Shepstone proclaimed an annexation of the Trans- 

85 



OUR FATHERS 


vaal republic, “it being the wish of Her Most Gracious Majesty that the State shall 
enjoy the fullest legislitive privileges compatible with the circumstances of the 
country and the intelligence of the people.” 

Gladstone’s tub-thumping in Midlothian denounced among other things “the 
free subjects of a republic being coerced by the free subjects of a monarchy.” Still, 
he did not withdraw from the Transvaal when the electorate gave him a big 
majority, but temporised until the battle at Majuba Hill removed by force a 
province that might have returned through grandiloquent gesture. He did with- 
draw General Roberts from Afghanistan; and it was due to him that expansion 
through most of the i8&o’s became a matter of moral plus commercial, instead of 
military plus titular penetration. It went on through export of the Bible and less 
spiritual commodities. The British North Borneo Company gave England a pro- 
tectorate under the banner of trade. Almost by accident, Nigeria was opened up 
by what became the Royal Niger Company. Gold in Rhodesia brought the treaty 
with Lobengula, and the Charter of the British South Africa Company. The British 
East Africa Company reaped profits where Livingstone had sown the Gospel. 
Concessions drew Matabeleland into the unlimited liability partnership. Millions 
of consumers were to be had in Darkest Africa for goods and Christianity. Millions 
of pounds worth of gold, copper, coffee, cocoa, spice and diamonds, not to mention 
ivory, apes and peacocks, were there to be fetched. Britons found them, fought 
against fever, privation and natives, lived hard and remorselessly died. And gentle- 
men in London Wall grew ever more prosperous, while the stone of the Royal 
Exchange acquired the deeply graven dictum, “The Earth is the Lord’s, and the 
fulness thereof.” 

The time came when the new markets needed more than concessions for their 
development. Like so many babies born out of wedlock, the territories of chartered 
companies were laid on the doorstep of the national maternity home. Mr. Glad- 
stone preached to the parents, but hesitated to acknowledge the offspring. Lord 
Salisbury, when he came into power, was more tolerant; he fed the babies with 
military force, and clothed them in the Union Jack. They thrived under Joe 
Chamberlain as head nurse; their rattles sounded round the world. 

The ’nineties showed an Imperialism more fervent than any since Elizabeth, 
and with reason. Britain held the balance of power in Europe, and further off 
her armies won victories. Egypt and the Nile were well under control. Upper 
Burmah, with its mines for precious stones, had been added to India. Russian 
influence was checked on the North-West Frontier. Trade depression was over, 
unemployment receded, prosperity advanced; England was All Sir Garnet. The 
mood of ascendancy found the men to guide it. Cecil Rhodes, as practical a dreamer 
as any in history, persuaded the City that Empire was first-class business; Chamber- 
lain, from the Colonial Office, convinced a willing electorate that it was good 
policy; Rudyard Kipling stirred the nation by glorifying it in song as^a race of 
strong rulers. The shop-assistant fancied himself a nabob, and was grateful for 
having been born an Englishman instead of a Russian or Prussian. And acquisi- 
tion followed annexation — Zanzibar, Malaya, ports in China. Extermination of 

84 



EMPIRE OCCASIONS 


barbarism went hand in hand with expansion of Empire; the two, indeed, were 
Siamese twins. A small Briush mission pushed through the jungle to .persuade 
the King of»Benin to put down human sacrifice. It was ambushed and massacred 
on its way back. “Benin will now,” wrote a leader-writer of the ’nineties, “become 
a British Protectorate in the natural course of events " 

Adventurous young men carried round the world, with their white man’s burden, 
the dinner-jacket and the sahib status. Mr. Kipling’s banjo {putya, pu\\a, poo\a, 
pul{\a, pom-pom) strummed them onward. Many died, some returned to hard- 
earned pensions, a few made incidental fortunes. And so to Kitchener’s recon- 
quest of the Soudan, the first Imperial Conference at the^ Diamond Jubilee, and 
a war that made the all-red South Africa which Rhodes and Lombard Street 
intended fifteen years earlier. 

The leading colonies, meanwhile, rose through adolescence to shape their own 
adult future, and intruded less upon the English consciousness than did the 
troublesome territories. Canada, the first Dominion, had sporadic rebellions and 
religious disputes, but in general citizens of England and French stock setded 
down in peace to promote plenty. There were arguments with the United States, 
but only the Alabama raids and Fenian forays across the border had substantial 
echoes in London. Not until English capital was invited for the immense adven- 
ture of railroads across the continent, which brought British Columbia into the 
Federal Union and populated the West’s great wheatlands, did the nation recog- 
nise the fullness of the Canadian future. Downing Street then studied jealously 
the contacts which were drawing Canada nearer to the United States, and by 
encouraging investment stimulated Sir John Macdonald’s campaign for tariff 
loyalties. The period closed with Sir Wilfred Laurier, a Liberal premier of French 
extraction, looming large at the Diamond Jubilee, and with Canada prominent in 
the Empire as a country of high energy and splendid probabilities, absorbing 
settlers in fine-planned towns and cities as well as in the grainlands; but with 
the ghost of possible absorption by the United States not yet laid. 

Australia, with New Zealand (whose history is that of a colony, largely adopted 
by Scotsmen, overcoming with vigour its Maori problems and merging into a 
model Dominion) remained an insistently loyal section in the pattern of Empire. 
Australians were the first to support a British war (the Soudan in 1885) with 
colonial troops, recruited through a militia that could collect hard-riding, straight- 
shooting men at a moment’s notice. 

Until Canadian prosperity arrived in the ’nineties, Australia was the favourite 
field for emigration. After a series of gold rushes, the thinly settled continent 
had hard work for all and a good price for most men’s labour. Because of 
isolation, its troubles were all internal. The aborigines died out, or were 
forced into the uncharted interior, but bushrangers were a dangerous thorn 
that had t.o be grasped, and there was difficulty in choking Chinese immi- 
gration. Then, after it had been established that settlers must be white, wages 
rose to heights that staggered English artisans, while an adventurous popu- 
lation pushed ahead, even though capital was scarce, with railways, mining, farm- 

S5 



OUR FATHERS 


ing, fruit-growing and especially sheep-grazing. The high wages, which continued 
to rise until the riots 0^1890, gave Labour an early start in politics. The movement 
toward an Australian federation was checked by jealousies between? the separate 
States, so pronounced that New South Wales and Victoria ran their railways on 
different gauges, in case of active hostility. The constitution for a united Australia, 
which could not be drafted until 1898, was then largely impelled by desire to form 
a more important unit of Empire. 

In India, the ’seventies and ’eighties were golden days of consolidation. The 
native Princes, sensitive to memories of the Mutiny, allied themselves with the 
Queen’s Viceroys and kept to their bargains. The victories of Roberts in Afghan- 
istan impressed the bazaars, and firm action against raiders kept the North-West 
Frontier safe. A Civil Service trained in adaptation to the mentalities of Hindu 
and Moslem, supported by an army in which colonels acted as ex-officio Managing 
Directors and Father Confessors of native regiments, did much, and did it well, 
in education, engineering, railway-building, irrigation, relief of famine and sanita- 
tion. The reward was profitable trade in English goods, especially after Lord 
Ripon’s remission of import duties. The Indian Nationalist Congress reared its 
head in 1883, but disaffection was slight before the ’nineties. By then seditious 
elements from Brahmin and Russian sources had obtained a medium among the 
educated or semi-educated Hindus, trained in English thought, who resented the 
social cold-shouldering which was the worst aspect of Sahib-rule in the East. 
Years of drought, famine, pestilence and increased taxation after the Burmese and 
frontier wars further promoted sedition; but with plenty of warlike Gurkhas, 
Sikhs and Punjabis anxious to serve as soldiers, Simla, not foreseeing the future, 
gave slight attention to the windy sedition of Hindu groups in Bombay. For the 
rest, the use of Indian troops in British wars became a habit which some in England 
did not like — “We don’t want to fight, but by Jingo if we do. We'll stay at home 
and sing our songs, and send the mild Hindoo.” 

South Africa was one of the two main storm-centres of Empire; the Soudan 
being the other. Cape Colony, in 1870, had become a sudden paradise for diggers. 
The diamond mines promoted a condition of luxury unknown to agricultural 
Dutchmen of the neighbouring Transvaal and Orange Free State. New arrivals by 
the thousand, including Cecil Rhodes, brought new ambitions to a small self- 
governed colony under which Briton and Cape Boer had lived at peace. The search 
for diamonds and ivory extended the white horizon even further, until black 
war-clouds were met. A long series of Kaffir skirmishes acquired the familiarity 
of habit, and it needed a jolt like the massacre by Zulus at Isandhlana to make 
England understand that here was a colony of many problems. 

No sooner had Wolseley finished with the Zulus than the Transvaal Boers took 
arms against annexation, and won Majuba Hill. The English colonists were left 
humiliated by Mr. Gladstone’s temporisation; and “nationalism” in South Africa 
was born in an atmosphere of wounded pride on the one hand and arrogant 
obstinacy on the other. The Afrikander Bund was formed, with Republican aims: 
the aim was to have all South Africa under the Boer flag, leaving to Britain only 

86 



EMPIRE OCCASIONS 


Simon's Bay as a naval station. The English colonists, as a counter-measure, 
formed the Empire League. Cecil Rhodes, whose stature- continued to grow in 
the Cape Parliament, kept always before him his vision of a South Africa united 
under Great Britain. As head of the British South African Company he gave his 
name to Rhodesia when Mashonaland was hazardously settled, as Cape Premier 
he was obliged by Boer hostility to think of annexing the obstinate republics. 

Samples of gold reached London from the Transvaal. To newly-formed 
Johannesburg came a flock of Jews and Gentiles, and much British capital. A 
reactionary President, sitting on his stoep with a bible, a pipe, and a spittoon seemed 
to care for none of these things. “What do we want with gold and mines?” asked 
Kruger. “We are an agricultural people.” Yet the old man gave monopolies to 
suit himself, levied huge tariffs and charges for transport, and refused the “Uit- 
landers” in Johannesburg a vote. Gold, lots of it, was mined. Johannesburg gold 
made the Transvaal rich in revenue and the City of London richer in profits; but 
Kruger went on harrying the British Uitlander. 

Rhodes, manipulating political difficulties at the Cape, financial ones inside the 
British South African Company’s territory, and racial ones over half 1 a continent, 
waited his chance to plant England’s fist upon the Boer jawbone. Britons in every 
part of South Africa remembered Majuba, and felt betrayed by Downing Street. 
The Uidanders in Johannesburg started a Reform movement — meetings, deputa- 
tions to the immovable image at Pretoria, plots, telegrams in code. Dr. Jameson’s 
sudden invasion of the Transvaal, with a few British officers and 500 men from 
the Bechuanaland border, fired the train. It had been arranged that he should 
join up with armed Uitlanders in Johannesburg. His venture failed through 
impetuosity, insufficient staff work and bad luck. Dr. Jim and his associates 
went to prison in London under the Foreign Enlistment Act, but became heroes 
of the moment to an aroused nation. Rhodes, though proof was wanting, un- 
doubtedly connived at Jameson’s raid; and reproof from the Select Committee of 
investigation in London made his resignation from the Cape premiership inevitable. 
But before his return to South Africa, he and Joseph Chamberlain understood one 
another over future policy. 

With the appeal, three years after, of twenty thousand Transvaal Uitlanders 
to the Queen, the Imperial Government acted. Milner’s report upon his doomed 
conference with Kruger and on “the spectacle of thousands of British subjects 
kept permanently in the position of Helots . . . calling vainly to Her Majesty’s 
Government for redress” preceded a frigid interval in which both sides to the dis- 
pute collected troops, organised armament and waited for patriotic feeling to reach 
boiling point. The century ended with the Boers winning victory after early 
victory in a war that brought Imperialistic fervour to its climax, before delayed 
success in arms gave Britain the last of the great Dominions, and the hardest of 
her racial problems now that an Empire is merging into a Commonwealth. 


87 







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■ ■*' '•.■■'• ■xV-ylb. Xft%\ 

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LIBERATING SLAVES AFTER THE CAPTLRF OF SLA\ E BOATS by Sir Samuel Baker’s 
Expedition up the Nile “A scssel ho\ c in sight apparenth laden with corn and nory A 
zealous subordinate of Baker’s thrust a steel ramrod into the corn A smothered cry followed, 
leading to the discos cry of ijo boss, girls, and women packed like herrings in a barrel” 


_ l. 

ly.-vl 


& 




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i&ia 

DR LIVINGSTONE AND MR S 1 ANLLY SPURN THE TAPERS “ Wq were near 
Lake Tanganyika when messengers returned from Zanzibar with nearly 100 newspapers, full of 
the most wonderful news — the Pans Commune in arms against the National Assembly, and devilry 
at work in the most beautiful city in the world We spurned the papers with our feet, and for 
relief gazed on the comic side of out world as illustrated in the innocent pages of Punch" 


88 





EMPIRE OCCASIONS 




m 


m&L -s^-- - 




Ik 




* 3* 


tfU 


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A I OST TROOPER Or THE N \\ MOUN HiD POLICT “ Isolated troopers of the 
Canadian Mounted Police, one of whose duties it is to suppress incipient revolts among the Indians, 
are sometimes lost while following a flat trail acioss the great desolate plains of Saskatchewan 
Their only remedy is to ride up to parties of Blackfeet or other Indians, and make the peace sign, 
which renders it obligatory to approach without moving arms, while the Indians sit down and say 
nothing They may conclude to avenge their grievance on the mounted policeman, and either 
kill him, tell him the wrong way , or ride off laughing at his discomfiture ” 







EMPIRE OCCASIONS 



G 




OUR FATHERS 



GREAT BOURKE STREET, MELBOURNE, showing inter alia the proclamation of a 
reward for a Bushranger’s capture, and the amusement caused by a visiting Englishman. 

1878 



THE HINTERLAND OF QUEENSLAND— A BUSH STORE : “ As in all thinly peopled 
regions, the general store is a favourite gathering-ground at Tambo, in the ‘ Never Never ’ 
country. Here is to be seen the stock-rider on horseback, conversing with a man who carries his 
‘ swag ’ on his back. Woollen socks, flannel shirts, moleskin pants, and jack boots arc the usual 
costume. In the foreground appears an aboriginal and his lady, the former in ‘European’ dress” 


9 Z 






EMPIRE OCCASIONS 


1878 



BUSH LIFE INSIDE A TAVERN “ The Queensland Bush tavern is a terriblv fascinating 
spot to the shepherd ot stockmen \s ho hat e led a solitary life for man) months, drinking nothing 
stronger than tea The sbepheid’s wages are paid him by cheque , he tramps mam vt carv miles 
to the nearest bush tavern, places the cheque in the proprietors hands and often does not leave the 
establishment until every halfpenny of his earnings has disappeared This is called ‘ doing his pile,’ ” 


1872 



UP COUNTRY IN QUEENSLAND Showing the grandly named Great Eastern Hotel, the 
digger with his “ swag,” the mounted officer of police, and the coach with its American driver 


95 




THE KLLL\ BUSHRANGERS AT BAY “ The notorious Kells gang has been biohen 
up after a pitched battle ss ith a picked body of constables Aftci scvoal houis’ brisk fighting the 
Hotel containing the Bushrangers s\ as set on fire. The robbers had armour made out of ploughs, 
which tor a time prosed sett effective. When one of the constables first sasv Edsvard Kelly in 
armout, he thought a tnadmin had come to the sieee, sthile otheis declared it was the devil” 


1883 



ROUGH JUSTICE IN THE AUSTRALIAN BUSH • “ As the nearest police-station is often 
from 50 to 200 miles from a squatter’s headquarters, svhen a Bush thief is captured he is fre- 
quently treated to a taste of a stock-whip — a terrible weapon which can cut through an ox-hide” 


94 



EMPIRE OCCASIONS 


1887 



THE QUEEN’S JUBILEE : New South Wales Overlanders drinking the Queen’s health in tea 

1888 



UP-COUNTRY RESIDENTS IN QUEENSLAND: A family party dressed in their best, j 
starting with ample baggage on the long coach drive to Melbourne Centennial Exhibition j 


95 




[3 


_ 


IMPERIAL FEDERATION IN AUSTRALIA: “ The Meeting in Melbourne, to settle terms 
on the subject of Australian Federation, represented seven Governments— Sir Henry Parkes and 
Mr. M’Millan (New South Wales) , Messrs. Gillies and Deakin (Victoria), Mr. Playford and Dr. 
Cockbum (South Australia), Sir Samuel Griffith and Mr. Macrossan (Queensland), Captain Russell 
and Sir John Hall (New Zealand), Messrs. A. Inglis Clark and Mr. B. S. Bird (Tasmania) and Sir 
John Lee Steere (for Western Australia). New Zealand, with her exceptional distance of 
1,200 miles from the island continent, was to be called upon to contribute to the Navy only” 


^ 1 v r o ^ 










NEW ZEALAND INTRODUCES WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE : “Female suffrage has made 
much greater headway in New Zealand than at home. Not only did the women exercise their new 
right at the recent general elections, but a member of the fair sex has been elected Mayor of 
Onehunga. The women at the Borough Council Chambers exhibited unmistakable signs of 
triumph during the morning’s Poll, for in working hours they were in possession of the whole field” 


96 


LMi J lKh UCCAbiUJNb 


1884 



FAREWELL TO GORDON “ General 1 Chinese ’ Gordon departing on his mission to the 
Sudan, with the Duke of Cambridge, Loid Wolselev and Colonel Stewart wishing him God speed 
on the platform at Charing Cross ” 





Wo //KW/W 


GORDON’S HEAD BROUGHT TO SLATIN PASHA “On January 26th X was 
sitting chained to the ground in front of my tent when I saw a great crow d coming tdwards 
me “ In front marched three black soldiers one named Shatta carried a cloth in which 
something was wrapped up He undid the cloth and showed me the head of General Gordon ! ” 


97 




OUR FATHERS 



ASHANTI — KIN G ATTAH OF AKIM GREETS HER MAJESTY’S COMMISSIONER 
“ King Attah met Captain Glover after sending ‘ a message of love ’ He became so excited 
after swearing * The Big Oath that he jumped on the table, and insisted on shaking hands with 
the Commissioner and staff Captain Glover’s dog grew excited, and snapped at the rod'll ankles 


98 






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LORD RANDOLPH AND A FEW SOUTH AFRICAN LIONS : “ We were riding 
through a small glade when Lee suddenly turned round, cried out and pointed with his finger ahead. 
I saw to my astonishment that the glade appeared to be alive with lions, trooping and trotting 
along like enormous dogs — great yellow objects, moving in the most composed and leisurely 
fashion. Lee said, ‘ What will you do ? ’ I said, ‘ I suppose we must go after them ’ . . . Lee 
dismounted and fired at a lion about 50 yards off, and I saw the brute fall on his head, twist round 
and stagger into a patch of high grass. I counted a batch of seven lions. Lee says there were 
more. We approached the spruit, and almost literally under my nose, I saw three lions tumble up 
out of it, climb the opposite side and disappear. Lee fired from his horse at one as it was climbing 
the bank and°wounded it badly, and it retreated, uttering sounds between a growl, a grunt, and a 
sob. The lions had now got some hundreds of yards ahead of us, and disappeared in the thick 
grass” (from Lord Randolph Churchill’s account of his South African journey in the Graphic) 





COCKNEY LIZZIE’S BILLIARD-SALOON: “A popular resort among the Barberton 
gold-diggsrs. Besides billiard and card tables, a piano is constantly in action, while Cockney 
Liz, in a jockey cap and a crimson dress, serves liquor and jokes with her many admirers.” 

1887 



A “BULL DANCE” IN BARBERTON: “Almost every second house in, Barberton 
is a canteen or billiard-saloon and drinking is very frequent. The few ladies who live 
there are hidden away from the public gaze, and so, if the South African gold-diggers want 
to dance, it is necessarily a ‘ bull dance ’ which sometimes finishes up with a free fight” 


too 




WASHING FOR DIAMONDS AT THE CAPE : “ Since the discovery of diamonds on the 
Vaal River equal in quality to those of Golconda and Brazil, glittering prizes can be obtained by any 
man who does not mind hard work. The cradles are going all day, sometimes all night too. The 
diggers even amuse themselves by looking for diamonds on the tent floor while lying in bed ” 


899 



“PRESIDENT KRUGER RECEIVES VISITORS: This anachronistic phenomenon throws 
out clouds of strong tobacco smoke, and still stronger language. Boers coming to Pretoria 
make it a point to see him. They are treated to coffee, which costs their Government £300 a year” 


101 







THE PENALTY OF NON- SUCCESS—' 14 DR. JIM ” AT BOW STREET : Dr. Jameson and his officers, charged with " unlawfully 
fitting out a military expedition against a friendly State, to wit the South African Republic.” After the Jameson Raid, during the 
Uitlander agitation (when Dr. Jim, with 800 men attempted to invade the Transvaal), the leaders were handed over to the British Government 








EMPIRE OCCASIONS 



OUR FATHERS 


1897 



THE BENIN MASSACRE" “ King hunting m the African bush is not the most pleasant 
sport, as the little British column under Colonel Hamilton who are chasing the Will o’-the-Wisp- 
like King of Benin hat e found. The pictures show Mr. Locke and another member of the 
British Mission attempting to assist Major Crawford after he had been shot in the leg during the 
ambuscade of the mission by Benin soldiers While they were carrying him he was shot again 
and killed. The only members of the party to escape were Mr. Locke and Captain Boisragon” 


106 



MURDER IN NORTI IERN INDIA “ Members of the punim e e\pedition against the 
Lushai HtU tribes have found the gun of the late Lieut Stewart in the grave of the Chief Howsata 
It had been reported from other villages that if Howsata himself had murdered Lieut Stewart, the 
gun would be in the Chief’s grave When this was opened Howsata’s embalmed body w as found 
King with the gun beside it, underneath a bottle of nee beer, much food and some sugar rane ” 


107 


11 




OUR FATHERS 



108 



EMPIRE OCCASIONS 



IO9 




1 868 


OUR FATHERS 



110 


TO KLONDYKE BY THE ALL-CANADIAN ROUTE : “ Hundreds of prospectors are making their way to the new gold diggings, many 
of them by the All-Canadian route. Our picture shows the business portion of Dawson City, by courtesy termed a ‘ street.* On one side 
of the rootlittcrcd miry space are some pretentious-looking buildings, most of them dedicated to the sal# of spirits to the pioneers of 
civilisation, who stand about in every variety of rough clothing, all, of course, with their hands in their trousers pockets. The fourth 
of July was recently celebrated by the consumption of considerable quantities of stray liquor and the indiscriminate firing of revolvers ** 




EMPIRE OCCASIONS 



hi 


A MISSIONARY TAKES A SPIN ROUND THE VILLAGE “ Having my bicydc w ith me, I begin to ride lound i Bangwa \ ilhgc, 
anu I shill not easily Forget the jelling savages running after me in wild excitement, shouting ‘The white man on a snake 1 ’ ” 

(From Mr Albert Lloyd’s Diarj) 



OUR FATHERS 


1870 



A VISITING PARTY OF HP's CROSSING THE PITCH LAKES IN TRINIDAD 
“As a great number of the channels between the deposits of pitch were wide, and the heat of the 
sun on the surface was very great, most of our party divested themselves of all superfluous 
attire and looked like so many lunatics -is thej went fljing over the crevasses in their shirts ” 

1896 




EMPIRE OCCASIONS 


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A BISHOP SWIMS ACROSS’ “His Lotdship the Bishop of Cape Colony, has mg nduen fhc 
hundred miles to hold a Confirmation Sen ice in the Tianskei District, found his way barred 
by a river swollen by storm and flood, He rcmoi cd his clothes, swam across and stayed m the 
reeds with hair and beard dripping, while his ally the doctor swam with the episcopal garments” 


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“ THE QUEEN— GOD BLESS HER ” AT SIERRA LEONE “ There is probably no 
anniversary so vv idelv celebrated throughout the Globe as Mav 24th, the birthda\ of Queen 
Victoria On that da\ in all our garrisons, Embassies Consulates and other Government head- 
quarters, festive gatherings prove that loyalty to the Throne remains deeply planted in the 
expatriated Britisher Abov e are officers of the West Indian regiment drinking vv ith roy al honours” 


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A LADY PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE TAR WEST ‘Lady Stanley, wife of the Governor 
General, fixing photographs of a war dance by Blackfcet Indians on Pocklington s Reserve 




“FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG” 


Ribboned recruiting sergeants, hard-headed in drink and persuasion, drew men 
from the street corner into queer nets between 1870 and 1900. England stayed at 
peace in Europe, and had done so since the Crimean War; so that, as one historian 
wrote, “there was not a little excitement over the Pranco-Prussian war, for many 
people were of the opinion that the glory of England might suffer if she did not 
get into a fight with some Power or other.” In contrast to this peace at head- 
quarters, contingents all overseas fought hundreds of engagements. 

The army was seldom out of the public mind and prints. War artists served it 
well, and were kept busy in most years, sketching soldiers in squares, echelons, 
charging squadrons and smoke-screened batteries; attacking or repelling Indians, 
Zulus, Afghans, Dervishes, Ashantis, Dacoits, Matabeles and others with brown 
or black pigmentation. Sometimes there was jungle for a background, sometimes 
jungle and barely fordable river, sometimes tree and rock, sometimes just rocky 
hillside, upon which dark warriors were shown skipping like the Psalmist’s rams. 

“There is no military training in England,” wrote an obtuse Prussian general. 
“The Englishman just fights when he is out-numbered, but the enemy must have 
obsolete weapons against arms of precision.” English forces were outnumbered 
because a small standing army was used for mobile action on a dozen possible 
fronts; and each danger-spot needed a margin of safety in garrison. But the value 
of precise arms against obsolete weapons was not everything in lands without 
roads or railways, where lines of improvised communication followed each hazard- 
ously scouted mile. Neither were the Snider rifle and the Gatling machine-gun 
precise. Two further assets were needed in the many wars against larger armies 
of savages and semi-savages — quick-minded generalship and a disciplined bravery 
that could equal the tribesman’s fanatical recklessness. The bravery was there 
invariably, the generalship not always. 

In an age that demanded and therefore obtained the heroic, four English 
generals became public heroes — Wolseley, Gordon, Roberts and Kitchener. Herbert 
Stewart, Gerald Graham, Evelyn Wood, Red vers Buller and a few more qualified 
for lesser pedestals. In terms of military talent the greatest was Wolseley. Each cam- 
paign meant a new technique in the fighting of battles by small forces with up-to- 
date arms against much larger forces with obsolete weapons, and a new 
adaptation of transport to lands without rail or modern road. Sir Garnet alone 
seemed to divine all requirements. Through fifteen years he was unfailing, 
ubiquitous, all but indispensable. 

Wolseley’s first command in the field was in Canada, where he crushed the 
River rising of 1870, under the half-breed Riel. His second came three years later in 



OUR FATHERS 


Africa, when he led the expedition against King Koffee Calcalli of Ashanti, who 
had bullied the “protected” tribe of Fantis. His army fought its way through 
swamps and forests, deposed King Koffee, destroyed his capital, abolished human 
sacrifice and returned when winter was over with few lives lost except by fever. 

The next imperial campaign was over old battlegrounds in Afghanistan. The 
murder of the British mission in 1879, a year after General Sir Sam Browne’s 
demonstration against the Ameer Shere Ali, brought General Roberts back from 
India. His position in Kabul after he had fought through a horde of Ghilzais, 
was dangerous until General Sir Donald Stewart reinforced him. General Burrows 
then launched his reekless attack from Kandahar, with only a brigade plus six 
9-pounders and a few smooth-bore guns, against 15,000 tribesmen under Ayub 
Khan, anti-British pretender to the throne. Burrows’ detachment, badly cut up at 
Maiwand, staggered back, its remnants saved by desperate gallantry from the 
Horse Artillery, who limbered up in the face of Ghilzai charges and fought with 
handspikes, whips and by any improvised weapons that were handy, to keep their 
guns for further work in covering the retreat. Kandahar, invested by exultant 
hordes growing daily larger through Ayub Khan’s prestige from his victory over 
the infidel, seemed lost. England and India turned toward Kabul, fearing a worse 
disaster there. Word trickled down to the frontier that a complete army of 10,000 
under Roberts had vanished. Twenty-two days passed in silence. Roberts and the 
10,000 appeared suddenly before Kandahar, relieved it, and thoroughly trounced 
Ayub’s army. Before this force marched through three hundred miles of appal- 
lingly difficult country, Roberts had been officially rapped over the knuckles for 
dispersing to Kabul, and Stewart gave him the chance to redeem himself by the 
march to Kandahar. After this superbly-timed movement, with its mystery that 
fastened on imagination at home, Roberts was promoted, made a baronet, and 
framed in public regard next to Sir Garnet. 

Sir Garnet, in the meantime, was misused by luck and the time factor. It is 
certain that had he, instead of Lord Chelmsford, organised the invasion of Zulu- 
land in 1879, instead of being sent to take command at the end of a shattering 
campaign, the numbers and fighting qualities of the Zulus would not have been 
so badly underestimated. The defence of Rorke’s Drift against 4,000 Zulus by 
Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead, with 80 men of the 24th Foot behind ramparts 
of biscuit tins and mealie bags, was stubborn and heroic. So, despite the failure to 
“laager” their waggons, was the defence by Colonel Durnford’s column of fewer 
than 1,000 English against Impis 20,000 strong, one fourth of whom they knocked 
out before being annihilated at Isandhlana. But the facts that Chelmsford was on 
the defensive through months, and never came within sight of a victory such as 
Ulundi until his forces had been raised from 5,000 to 10,000 proved miscalculation. 
The Zulus were not only 50,000 strong; they had trained themselves to fight in 
formations borrowed from English troops at the Cape; and their King Cetewayo 
was a cruel, tireless fighter. 

Wolseley, arriving after Ulundi, directed the rounding-up and capture of Cete- 
wayo, completed the Zulu subjugation, and came home in 1880. His return at that 



“FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG” 


moment was another freak of the timetable and the sailing lists, for a Boer War 
broke out later in that year. The course of vast issues in South Africa might have 
been changed°had he, instead of Sir George Colley, planned and commanded the 
force — an absurdly small one of 1,000 men — that entered the Transvaal — when the 
Boers rose in arms to win independence. Colley, like everybody else concerned, 
undervalued the strength, tactics and fighting qualities of the Boer farmers. As 
a result, he was repulsed at Laing’s Nek and again on the Ingogo River, losing 
during the two engagements a third of his troops in killed and wounded. He 
marched back again to recover Laing’s Nek, and occupied Majuba Hill, which 
commanded the Boer camp. Four hundred tired men climbed for eight hours in 
the darkness to reach the top of a kopje. The Boers did not know that the 
height was occupied; in the morning the murmur of their slow Sabbath prayer 
climbed to the British. No trenches were dug, no defence-works were built. Com- 
plete reliance was placed on the tremendous strength of Majuba. But the enemy 
force, being much larger than was believed, and knowing every slope and hollow of 
the ground, climbed the hill behind casual cover and surrounded and all but 
annihilated the few British. Colley himself was killed, leaving in his Sent a letter 
to his wife: “In case I should not return, to tell you how very dearly I love you. . . . 
Don’t let all life be dark if I don't come back.” 

The Navy, followed by Sir Garnet again, soon removed the taste of defeat from 
British prestige in arms. Arabi Pasha’s plots against Turkey and the Khedive, and 
his alliance with Egyptian Nationalists, brought Admiral Seymour’s fleet to Alex- 
andria in support of British interests. The gunners in the Egyptian forts were 
hopelessly bad; so bad that the British Fleet, unable to reduce them with muzzle- 
loading guns firing under steam, was able to anchor in the harbour with impunity, 
while bombarding the Egyptians into silence. Charles Beresford and other gun- 
boat commanders had their chance to show bravery close to the shore; and the 
Admiral’s signal, “Well done Condor!” became a popular slogan for pride in the 
Navy. Mr. Gladstone did not empower the War Office to land military forces 
until three months later, when Arabi controlled most of Egypt. Sir Garnet then 
entered in style, commanding 40,000 troops (most of them dressed incidentally in 
scarlet serge Norfolk jackets). The Egyptians were first dislodged from Tel-el- 
Mahuta. General Graham, attacked by a large force when marching ahead with 
2,000 men, to ensure the water supply, used the heliograph — a new invention — to 
summon the Household Cavalry Brigade, and beat off the enemy with a spectacular 
charge that delighted the public and the war artists. Sir Garnet ended the cam- 
paign with his brilliantly planned defeat of the Egyptian army at Tel-el-Kebir, 
where Arabi’s strong position had four miles of earthworks in front with redoubts 
at intervals, and defences almost as exceptional on the flanks. Wolseley so dis- 
posed of his forces that the Egyptians could not guess, among their complicated 
forts, whenpe the main attack would come. Thirty minutes of sharp attack, for 
a total British loss of 54 killed and 320 wounded, was enough to take Tel-el-Kebir 
and utterly rout the enemy. Wolseley’s cavalry pursued a beaten army over fifty 
miles in one day to Cairo, and bluffed the city into surrender. 



OUR FATHERS 


Sir Garnet’s last and hardest campaign had as prelude a series of Egyptian 
disasters, beginning with the Soudanese Mahdi’s destruction of an army of 11,000 
under Hicks Pasha Egyptian expeditions to the relief of garrisons“at Sinkat and 
Tokar were cut to pieces. A third relief force, chiefly composed of half-trained 
youths under Baker Pasha, turned and fled at sight of the Mahdi’s fierce fanatics. 
Both strongholds fell, with much throat-slitting of the garrisons. And when, in 
18S4, Gordon entered Khartoum as Governor-General of the Soudan, with an 
indefinite mission to direct evacuation or conquest, he might have been invested at 
once but for two victories under General Graham at El-Teb and Tamai. Since 
Giahams 4,000 British troops weie largely young recruits, he manoeuvred 
them into fighting squares with Gatling guns at the corners, so as to have a 
maximum of compactness for meeting the wild charges of the newly nicknamed 
“Fuzzies.” Highly picturesque accounts and sketches of these tactics gave Eng- 
land an unwarranted confidence Not knowing the odds against Gordon (since 
he himself was vague in his messages and seemed confident of coping with any 
attack), the nation regarded the Soudan as an arena for contest between him and 
the Mahdi- -civilisation against slave-dealing savagery. The Soudanese gradually 
closed m on Khartoum, growing in number by tens of thousands as opposition 
faded. The British press woke up, a third of the way through a siege that lasted 
317 days, to realize the peril of Gordon. Mr. Gladstone did not wake up from his 
Irish pre-occupations until half-way thiough it; and it was late in the summer 
before Wolseley could plan a campaign for the relieving of Khartoum. 

His expedition, including most of “the Wolseley gang” (generals and staff 
officers whom he had trained in earlier campaigns) left Cairo in October. At that 
time a Major Kitchener was at Dongola, trying to establish communication with 
Gordon. Fighting flies, savage heat, a dilatory supply service from home, 1,000 
miles of lines of communication, and the Mahdi, Wolseley pressed on, but could 
not be ready until December to move across the desert from Korti. On the day 
when Sir Herbert Stewart set out from Khartoum with an advance column, two 
Arabs brought a message, on paper the size of a postage stamp: “Kharti um all 
right. 14.12.84. C. G. Gordon.” The written confidence, however, was in case the 
messengers should be captured; their verbal information told of Khartoum’s 
desperate need. Stewart fought at Abu Klea, where his troops reformed after 
their square had been broken, and killed 1,100 Dervishes before they retired. He 
was fatally wounded on the day after the battle, and it was under Sir Charles 
Wilson that the column reached the Nile at Gubat on January 21. There it found 
Gordon’s river steamers, and another small scrap of paper : “Khartoum is all right. 
Could hold out for years. C. G. Gordon. 29 12 84.” Wilson decided to use the 
steamers for a quick advance, but gave three days to reconnaissance The flotilla 
did not start until January 24 The journev took four days, and during it — on the 
26th — the end came. Gordon, using his sword to the last, died on thf Residency 
steps, with the steamers no near. On January 28th a man shouted from the bank 
to Wilson’s flotilla that Khartoum was fallen; and when it sighted the city next 
day, the flag had gone England did not congratulate Mr. Gladstone, but recog- 



‘FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG’ 


1891 


A 



RECRUITINGS FOR THE ARMY “ The clearing away of a number of small houses necessitated 
by the opening up of Charing Cross Road revealed to many people the existence of St George’s 
Barracks, Trafalgar Square Outside grizzled and stalwart recruiting sergeants may be seen at all 
hours ready to enlist the promising recruit, or to explain the advantages of Her Majesty’s Service’ 





THE CHARGE OF THE I7TH LAN CER S AT ULUNDI : “ The story of the battle of Ulundi is one of fearless persistency, by the hordes 
of Zulu warriors, who dashed forward again and again to break through the immovable ranks of our soldiers, until sudden panic drove them 
into headlong flight. The Lancers then galloped out as they turned, and mowed them down with lance and fire-arms upon the hrU-sides 




“FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG" 


nised that the relieving army could not have done more. Wolseley, at the end of a 
great campaign under heart-breaking difficulties, scattered further Soudanese 
hordes, but was ordered home when it was decided to establish a frontier between 
Egypt and the Soudan through Wady Haifa. 

Before this desert war ended, a river and jungle one broke out in Upper Burmah. 
To punish King Theebaw of Ava for discriminating against the British in trade 
concessions (there was also the Gladstonian motive of putting down cruelty and 
barbarous practices) a British and Indian Army under General Prendergast steamed 
up the Irrawaddy River, and landed detachments that overcame without much 
trouble a weak, formless resistance from the Burmese, but suffered dreadfully from 
malaria fever in a climate worse than that of the African West coast. Upper 
Burmah was annexed; though this was but the beginning of a scattered campaign 
which, through five years, came to be known as "the Subaltern’s War.” 

In 1887, more fights against Zulu tribes; 1893, the Matabeles and “Wilson’s Last 
Stand”; 1895, another and permanent suppression of the Ashantis; 1896, a naval 
bombardment of Zanzibar to give its Sultan warning of British power; 1897, a 
short forest campaign in Central Africa, when Benin was forcibly ghren British 
protection after its kinglet had murdered a British mission, and in ’96, ’97, and 
’98, the final and emphatic conquest of the Soudan by that Major Kitchener — now 
Sir Herbert Kitchener, Egyptian Sirdar — who had tried to establish contact with 
Gordon from Dongola. 

It was a Soudanese campaign different from that of Wolseley (who by now 
had succeeded the old Duke of Cambridge as Commander-in-Chief at the War 
Office). Many of the Dervishes — the nickname “Fuzzies” was obsolete — under 
the Khalifa had acquired old-fashioned rifles from gun-runners, and were marks- 
men from intensive practice. But Kitchener had new Lee-Metfords and newer 
Lee-Enfields, besides Maxim machine-guns and quick firing field-guns. His British 
troops were in new-fangled khaki, which showed up in the desert much less than 
the old reds and blues. Above all else, he had plenty of time to organise, whereas 
Wolseley had been given only five months for improvisation. He made a point 
of "blooding” his troops, particularly the Egyptian regiments, immediately after 
the advance from Wady Haifa. Converging by night in two columns upon Firket, 
he quickly defeated a Dervish force, and so heartened his army for a heat-wracked 
summer campaign full of storms and cholera. Dongola was occupied, after which 
he passed nearly a year in skirmish and preparation, while railway construction 
from Wady Haifa pushed onward. He then fought a way. into Abu Hamed, and 
killed or captured every Soudanese defending it. Twelve thousand Dervishes under 
the Emir Mahmoud came against him from Khartoum. Kitchener attacked on the 
Atbara; and within forty minutes 2,000 Dervishes were killed, the rest scattered, 
and Mahmoud was a prisoner. 

Kitchener awaited reinforcements before tackling the Khalifa’s army on the 
latter’s chosen ground before Omdurman. The Dervish casualties in this quick 
battle, for which the British had prepared through a whole year, were 11,000 killed 
and 16,000 wounded, more than the complete Anglo-Egyptian strength of 26,000, 


I2T 



OUR FATHERS 


of whom only 46 were killed and 341 wounded. Two days later the flag was 
hoisted above Khartoum, on the building where Gordon had died. The Khalifa 
wandered for months in the Soudan, and after a last defence against Wingate’s 
column, was found dead on a prayer mat, with all his Emirs around him. Senti- 
ment for Gordon combined with descriptions of Kitchener of Khartoum’s relent- 
less efficiency, exact organisation, and care of the army’s health, to build up in the 
public mind a new species of military hero. 

The century passed with military exaltation exploded by news of early dis- 
asters in the Boer War, most of which belongs to the nineteen hundreds. The 
statement that British Governments always prepare for the previous war was 
underlined by the British defeats of Black December in 1899. Sir Redvers Buller 
had created the Army Service Corps for a coming war, but the fighting forces 
given him were pitifully insufficient. The well-armed Boers were neither Dervishes 
nor Dacoits; it even seemed forgotten that Majuba Hill had proved them not to 
be Zulus. They could ride, plan, fight with forethought from trenches, invent new 
forms of defence in valleys and of attack on hillsides, improvise new methods of 
transporting heavy guns. Stormberg, Magersfontein and Colenso taught that. 
So, in the last week of the century, Roberts of Kandahar and Kitchener of 
Khartoum sailed with reinforcements greater than General Buller’s total force, to 
direct the victories of 1901. And the military text-books were re-edited with maxims 
that served the 1914 Expeditionary Force well, and survived until the slaughter of 
half a male generation between 1915 and 19x8 made them obsolete. 

One hundred and ten faraway wars and frontier engagements were fought by 
British troops between 1870 and 1900. The army had changed much in personnel 
and greatly in armament. The purchase of army commissions passed; and highly- 
placed officers had been enabled to rise from the ranks, after the short-service 
system had introduced a younger and less hard-drinking type of private soldier. 
The old, erratic Snider had gone and the better Martini-Henry rifle (which never- 
theless would not stop a determined tribesman unless its bullets were split), had 
been replaced in its turn by the precise magazine rifle. In place of the muzzle- 
loading ordnance used before the ’nineties, field-guns and heavy guns had de- 
veloped out of recognition in range, calibre, breech-loading dependability and 
quickness of fire. The Gatling and Nordenfeld machine-guns had been followed 
by the Maxim automatic, which utilised recoil to fire 300 rounds a minute — a 
weapon concerning which Stanley gave the opinion to Sir Hiram that it “would 
be of valuable service in helping civilisation to overcome barbarism." 

“Whatever happens, we have got 
The Maxim Gun, and they have not.” 

And the pictures remain of bearded or much-moustached soldiers in stiffish 
attitudes, fighting their hundreds of engagements, well-managed or mismanaged, 
against the heathen for Empire, Christian principles and the financial sections of 
the City of London; quaint, brave figures who, instead of hating the Dervish for 
wanting to castrate them, praised him as a first-class fighting man. 


122 




ZULULAND TI IE DEFENCE Or RORKE’S DRIFT. “Dai break on the morning following 
the Defence of Rorke’s Drift by Lieutenants Clnrd and Bromhtad, during which 80 men, io 
of them suppasedly sick in hospital, beat off and defeated 3,000 Zulus flushed with recent victory. 
Hurried entrenchments were made with biscuit bo\es and sacks of mealies, and behind these the 
defenders drove off repeated attacks. Between thice and five o’clock the Zulus burned the 
hospital, charged right up to the walls and attempted to unscrew the bayonets which met them 
The Zulu losses wcie 350 killed and 250 wounded, as against 13 British killed and 9 wounded” 


123 


1 




OUR FATHERS 


1879 



ERNEST G RANDIER BROUGHT BEFORE CETEWAYO : “ One of the strangest incidents 
of the Zulu War was the adventure of Ernest Grandicr, a native of Bordeaux enlisted in the 
Irregular Cavalry. Captured after the battle at the Zlobane Hill, he was lashed to a pole, without 
clothes and exposed to a burning sun by day and to biting cold by night. In the mornings the 
Zulus beat him with their sticks to restore circulation. Taken seventy miles to Cetewayo’s 
kraal, he was brought naked before the King, while the women jeered and spat upon him. 
Cetewayo, seated on his leopard skin, told him that he would be sent back to Umbelini, who 
would cut him up, bit by bit, until he died. During the journey to Umbelini, Grandier killed 
one of his two guards with an assegai, carried off the gun of the other and hid in a hole while an 
army of 15,000 Zulus passed by. Still nude, he reached safety after a terrible journey of fifty hours.” 

124 






“FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG' 


i8 79 



THE PRINCE IMPERIAL LEAVES FOR THE ZULU WAR : “ Should the whirligig of time 
give the Empire another chance in France, Prince Louis’ prospects will be improved by the fact 
that he has insisted on undergoing the privations and dangers of the British Campaign against 
the Zulus. The Empress Eugene carried a bunch of violets as she accompanied her son on 
the troop ship at Southampton, and pressed the posy upon him before kissing him good-bye ” 


1879 



DEATH OF THE PRINCE IMPERIAL : “ The Prince, without Lord Chelmsford’s knowledge, 
was despatched with Lieut. Carey and six men to select a camping ground. After half an hour’s 
halt in a deserted kraal, they were preparing to ride on when a volley was fired. The Prince’s 
horse became fidgety, and as the party rode off the Prince was seen trying to mount, and then to 
fall. Next day the body was found and brought into camp. A funeral parade was at once held ” 

115 


OUR FATHERS 








‘FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG” 


1879 



AFTERNOON TEA IN AFGHANISTAN ‘ The comint; in of the Sayid of Kunar -was looked 
upon as a ten impoitant affur Before any comersation two bags of silter were placed at 
the feet of the Politicals The bags were touched and returned then a large trat of tea was 
brought and after a sip of this bet crage com ersat on about the occupation of Jellalabad began ’ 


1879 



THE PIPE Or PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN ‘ Ihc Amcei \akub Khan smoked a ' hubblc 
bubble ’ with Major Cavagnari, his whilom enemy (Cavagnan was later assassinated) 




“ NX ELL DOKE, ‘ CONDOR I ’ ” — “ So cleverly did Lord Charles Beresford’s gunboat ‘ Condor’ 
manccuvre during her duel with the Fort, which was strong enough to have sunk the small craft 
by a single shot, that the Admiral signalled ‘ Well done. Condor,’ this being acknowledged by 
the crew with a cheer for their captain. Having drawn fire of the land batteries, ‘ Condor ’ was 
joined by the gunboats * Beacon,’ ‘ Cygnet ’ and ‘ Bittern,’ and Marabout was soon completely 
silenced. As they' passed the warships ‘ Invincible ’ and ‘ Inflexible,’ the crews cheered the little 
vessels heartily, giving groans for Arabi, whom the sailors had christened ‘ Horrible Pasha.’ ” 


128 



“FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG” 

1882 



THE STORMING OF TEL-EL-KEBIR : “ After the repulse of the attack which Arabs made 
on the British camp at Kassamin, Sir Garnet Wolselcy ordered the whole force to be in readiness. 
Shortly aftes sunset the troops commenced their forward movement. The men tnivanced un- 
noticed until at dawn the enemy perceived the advance guard. The Highlanders advanced to 
within 300 yards of the enemy before the alarm was given. They earned the nest Imc ot entrench- 
ments without firing a shot, and rushed the second line, 1 he figyptian attny fled in utmost disorder 


uo 








OUR FATHERS 


1885 



GORDON’S LAST MESSTNGER ‘ Sir Charles VC 1 Ison, Major Slade and Mr \ an Dyke 
examined two Bedouins sent bt Goidon from besieged Khartoum ‘Gordon Pasha ’ said one of the 
messengers, ‘ fired twenty one guns in his joy at hearing of the approach of the English Armv’ ” 







BROKEN SWORDS AT SUAKIM “After our black troops had driven the dervishes from 
the trenches befoie Suakim the Hussars under Major Irving charged the fugitives Rough 
ground threw the squadron into some confusion in a hollow and thereupon the enemy’s horse 
charged out men like i hoide ot fanatics Captain Giaham, riding at the head of his men, 
spitted a Norseman as one would a piece of bread on a toasting tork At the first onset 
several of our sabres broke over the Arab spears One trooper, with a broken sabre, \t as cut down 
from the shoulder to the w aist The Sergeant Major of our troop sheathed his snapped sword and 
took to his revolver, but this speedily became clogged and misfired, as did other revolvers 
Eventually our men dismounted with carbines, which made the enemy retire” 


'33 










1 886 


OUR FATHERS 



THL ROAD TO M \LAY “ A sketch b> i military officer of the crossing of 
the fusa Rnci bv the Somersetshue Light Infantry dunng the winter campaign in 
Upper Burmah While General Prendergast and his three columns were wending their 
way up the Irrawaddv, the pack elephants gave trouble, and eventually the British 
infantry stripped to the waist and earned their own kits across the river 


l}6 



'FIGHTS FOR THE FLAG’ 


1874 



COLONEL bEbllNG WINNING THE V C. . “Lieut. Eardley-Wilmot was shot down 
and left by his native troops on the ground surrounded by the savage AshanteeB I Colonel 
Festmg dashed forward and bore him to the rear, receiving a severe wound in the hip. The 
stick m the Colonel’s hand is a stout blackthorn, which he alwav s carried to ‘encourage’ his allies” 


1885 



PERILS OF THE WAR CORRESPONDENT: “In the rush against the Butish in the 
square at Abu Klea, a bullet struck Mr. H. H. S. Pearse of the Daily News in the heel, making 
a slight flesh wound only, but after the scrimmage, from the bloody state ofhis attire he mighthave 
been assisting in a slaughter-house. This was Mr. Pearse’s first experience as a War Correspondent” 

07 





“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES” 

Much study of the ancient Victorians, and many conversations with their survivors, 
left me with a conyalicated labour; how to divide their huge, sprawling record 
into compartments. It has been impossible to enclose within one chapter their 
separation into social classes; the subject threads itself through all the chapters, 
particularly the first, which treats of manners and morals, and the last, in which 
Mr. Gladstone sees his era pass. 

There remain the relations of the classes with what they called “the masses.” 
The late Victorians w ere like ourselves in having to face resentment from a multi- 
tude oppressed by their fathei s, but we are unlike them in that our multitude, after 
sweeping abuses away, has attained the power to oppress ourselves 

The early Victorians had fostered the abuses with their industrial revolution 
and their blinkered social conscience, which shied from seeing whatever was not 
nice The poorer districts in town and country made a very ugly picture in 1870. 
Two-thirds of the nation had been brutalised by squalor The other third was a 
pretty cake icing that hid an unappetising mixture below Through the ’fifties and 
'sixties the poor around pitheads, and in the new manufacturing townships, were 
almost sub-human in their living; under-fed with rotten food (tough meat once 
a week was a luxury ), badly clothed, all but illiterate, living in unsanitary hutments 
or unventilated tenements, which were often untended because the women w'ent 
to labour like the men. Their drunkenness was more a solace than a habit “What 
is a poor man to do,” asked Mr. St. Lys in Disraeli’s Sybil, “after his day’s work, 
it he returns to his own roof and finds no home; his fire extinguished, his food 
unprepared; the partner of his life, wearied with labour in the field or the factory, 
in bed from exhaustion or because she has returned wet to the skin and has no 
change of raiment for her relief 5 . . . Domestic life is a condition impossible for 
these people; and we must not theiefore be surprised if they seek refuge in the 
beer-shops.” 

Millions of pounds went in ecstatic missions to the heathen, while slums round 
the corner were packed with people who reached the starvation line whenever 
trade depression happened — and this during the half-century when the national 
wealth nearly doubled itself Gladstone’s and Disraeli’s Cabinets, through their 
different channels, introduced humanitananism into what had been political 
economy without a soul, but the drastic icmedies applied came fiom shocks which 
caused first resentment, then bewilderment, and then quickened reform 

Samuel Plimsoll’s fight for seamen was typical of how the sequence operated. 
His book Our Seamen, showing how “ship-knackers” killed sailors, was followed 
by a Royal Commission on shipping and the drafting of a Bill. When Disraeli told 

138 



THE CLASSES AND THL MASSES 


the Commons ijthat the Bill would be shelved, Plimsoll lost his head but won the 
nation’s attention He shouted, from the floor of the House, a demand tor adjourn- 
ment, besought’ the Premier not to send further seamen to their death, and waved 
frantic aims while giving information on how ships were never broken up, but 
passed from hand to hand until an unscrupulous owner sent them, with over- 
tnsured cargoes, to founder with their crews Advancing to the middle of the 
floor, and bellowing like Boanerges, he gav e notice to ask w hether a list of specified 
ships lost at sea w ere ow ned bv Edward Bates, and whether that gentleman w as 
Edw'ard Bates, a member of the House of Commons He went forward to the 
table below the Speakct , and pitted his \ oice against the House s restntmcnt w ith 
a cry that he was determined to unmask the villains who sent sailors to the bottom 
When three hundred members drowned his voice in resentful pandemonium, 
he shook his fist at Disraeli, and after a reprimand from the Speaker he went 
to the bat of the House and called “Good God' don’t vou know that thousands 
of men are bung sent out to drown 5 ’ The House thought the scene an outrage, 
and most newspapers, ifter condemning Plimsolls lack of taste, suggested that 
since he was a landsman he could not be a shipping expert His violence, how- 
ever, disturbed fat consciences; investigation proved seven eighths of his indictment 
to be true The Merchant Shipping \ct, onlv a vear latei, went beyond its original 
intention by entoicing severe examination of ships, making overloading a legal 
offence, and giving the eldulv eoa' merchant s name to the Plimsoll line of safety 

During the seventies «nd ’eighties interest in the submerged two-thirds 
advanced beyond district visiting, from which patronage and the idea of rich-and- 
poor created-He them w ere nevei quite absent It became a fashion to organise 
days in the countrv, with parks opened by landowners for the families of town 
woikcrs, who usually had to submit in return to religious and moral instruc 
tion Lord Rowton was backed by rich brewers and others in his schemes for 
giving accommodation to the homeless poor — many thousands of whom had been 
made destitute by drink William Booth's ragged Hallelujah Band of converted 
criminals grew into the Salvation Arms, whose wild music focussed attention on 
pauperism, overcame the police dislike of street meetings — and relieved destitution 
while ci eating it anew bv under-selling thiough its workshops the m irket in cheap 
labour. The Church Auny, maintaining that souls in the slums must be saved 
by life-lines of orthodox pattern, resonantly marched into the campaign for rc 
demption through militant charity Lay preachers, bishops and even a cardinal 
visited the East End to supervise relief and harangue against the devil and the 
ginshop. 

Anothei kind of benevolence sought to join art and manual labour in marriage, 
which was to be consummated through aisthetic contact. John Ruskm, after his 
publication of Unto Tin - La<t, turned from the artistic steulitv of the middle 
classes to the* artistic vnginity of the vvoikmg man ^Esthetes, prefcrablv fiom the 
universities, weie to make the masses nobly potent. As Slade Professor of Art at 
Oxford, Mr. Ruskin set his undergraduates to making roads, so that they might 
experience the jov of manual laboui and come nearer to their fellow beings (his 


139 


K 



OUR FATHERS 


top-hatted direction of this work is one of the sights that would imake a visit to 
the ’seventies most worth while). His Guild of St. George’s, established on co- 
operative lines, had many University adherents, whose sisters and aunts helped 
to promote East End art exhibitions and musical evenings which, it was thought, 
would win away interest from the gin palaces. 

University and public school settlements in poor districts multiplied, and 
attracted collaboration from men like Baldwyn Leighton and Michael Hicks- 
Beach, whose beliefs were far removed from Ruskin's idealistic socialism or young 
Arnold Toynbee’s"democratic evangelism. “The University Settler,” said a pam- 
phlet of the period, “becomes a sort of Delphic oracle, consulted on all embarrass- 
ing contingencies by the entire neighbourhood.” On the fringe of this movement, 
“slumming” from the opulent quarters degenerated at times into a fashionable 
fad, but did much to reveal the reality of squalor to ladies whose heads would 
have ached had they read Henry George’s Progress and Poverty or Charles 
Booth’s Life and Labour of the People of London, but who found pink glamour 
in Walter Besant’s All Sorts and Conditions of Men and William Morris’s News 
from Nowhere. 

Morris, who for awhile edited the Socialist Commonweal, and who brought 
himself into the police court by interfering with the arrest of an unemployed 
banner-bearer, dived deeper than Ruskin into Socialism; but his vision was less of 
potential England than of a cloudland without landlords and capitalists, wherein 
clean artisans should live in artistic dwellings amid the green of the countryside, 
while they created handcraft beautifully. The working classes gained less that was 
actual from Utopians than they did from “capitalist” politicians who supported 
the claim made by Sir William Harcourt, “We are all Socialists now.” The 
politicians of both parties, sometimes with earnest support from the Prince of 
Wales, carried through investigations into slum housing, sweated and dangerous 
trades, the workings of free education and the enclosure of common land. They 
showered reform upon the nation, together with gifts, through the new county and 
borough councils, of parks, gardens, museums, libraries and much-needed public 
baths. 

The pace, though, remained too slow for a working class suspicious of Greek 
gifts and harried by the unemployment that came from a recklessly quick increase 
of population. Labour went into politics on its own account. The trades unions, 
given a recognised legal status only in 1871, won a smashing success when Disraeli 
repealed the penal clauses of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, after the unions 
had helped to rout Gladstone in revenge for his adoption of these clauses. Em- 
ployers, frightened of labour’s growing strength, used the trade depression between 
1874 and 1880, first to check the movement for higher pay and lesser hours, and 
then to drive down wage rates by anything between one-eighth and a half. Inten- 
sive emigration failed to stem unemployment. Furious strikes ended in failure, 
lock-outs had the aggressive results intended. The new irritant of organised labour 
agitation provoked a return here and there of the spirit in a song dating from the 
Reform Act: “Rot the People, Blast the People, Damn the Lower Classes!” 

140 



“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES” 


When the, depression ended, the trade unions were absorbed for years in 
tense struggle )to regain membership and replace shattered funds. They emerged 
strong again, hnd found intellectual dynamite ready to hand for their purposes. 
Nobody except a few close associates and a few police* spies gave much attention 
to an over-bearded old boy named Karl Marx, who quietly lived in London for 
forty years and there wrote Das Kapital, after expulsion from France and Prussia. 
He was an executive member of a federation of Socialist Societies, with anarchist 
inclinations, called the International Working Men’s Association; but anarchism 
and communism never found in England the ready soil waiting for them on the 
Continent. His writings and conversations, however, gave H. M. Hyndman the 
idea of founding the Social Democratic Federation, whence the Socialist League 
split away three years later. Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Webb, at about the same time, 
started the Fabian Society, which adapted political economy to labour programmes 
and aimed at socialising the state through the existing machinery of government, 
instead of violently upsetting the machinery or in the manner then orthodox to 
Socialists. A three-pronged trident of Socialism thus appeared suddenly to prod 
the self-sufficiency of the middle-class and the politicians. All three factions of the 
cause concentrated on street-corner harangues; the voice of the tub-thumper was 
loud in the land. 

It was inevitable that the trades unions, remembering defeat, should make 
allies of these energetic advocates and take what help they could from each brand 
of Socialism, as well as from the rising Co-operative movement. Strange new 
personalities belaboured the body politic. A fantastic Fabian named George 
Bernard Shaw attended a meeting between parliamentary notabilities and Socialist 
intellectuals, and read Sir Charles Dilke and Mr. Balfour a lecture to prove that 
the landlord, the capitalist and the burglar were equally damaging to the com- 
munity. The Socialist Democratic Federation threw up John Burns, who took 
under his wing the militant unemployed during a renewed depression which 
began in 1885. Martial words from himself and Hyndman in Trafalgar Square 
preceded sudden riots in a march through astonished West End districts that 
represented mammon to the mob, which worked off its feelings by overturning 
carriages and smashing in Piccadilly and St. James’s club-windows behind which 
colonels longed for troops, and in Oxford Street and Regent Street shop-windows 
whose owners were wrenched aside as they tried to put up shutters. Hyndman 
and Burns were tried for sedition; but measures of urgency for relief of the 
unemployed were rushed into being. 

Trafalgar Square was shut to demonstrations, and was kept inviolate by Life 
Guards when mobs ignored the prohibition. “Bloody Sunday,” in November of 
1887, brought climax to the many disturbances overlooked by Nelson’s column. 
Labour leaders led unemployed against the square from several directions, but 
police vedettes met every procession, and broke it up before the main body of 
defenders — Foot Guards with bayonets fixed and ball cartridges ready— could be 
reached. A savage fight between police and mob at the corner of the Strand ended 
only when two squadrons of Life Guards advanced from Whitehall and, holding 






‘THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES’ 


their bayonets«aslant, pressed through the swaying groups. Heads were broken, 
and one unemployed mail died from injuries Burns, arrested with Cunnmghame 
Giaham (then°a Liberal Member and knight errant of democracy) went to prison 
toi si\ weeks London’s alarm lasted for weeks, Trafalgai Square stayed guarded 
by police, and special constables by the thousand were enrolled and drilled as for 
revolution 

Prosperity’s return lessened the number on the starvation line, and better organ- 
isation tor relief reduced unrest The trade unions for skilled men, taking able 
Socialists into their councils, pressed for an eight-hour da\, and by short, fierce 
strikes won back some of their lost wages A shock to the nation came when un- 
skilled labour, with avuage earnings under ten shillings a week, was able to keep 
the London docks closed for two months An unorganised hoide, which daily 
waited at the gates for casual woik from contractors who exploited it, marched 
in 1889 from dock to dock, bringing out casual workers in support of its mild 
demands for sixpence an hour and a minimum engagement of four hours on days 
when men had the luck to be hired. John Burns, recently elected to the first 
County Council, hurned back to the East End; but the public gave little attention 
to the threat until the Steiedores Union ceased work in support of the casuals 
Burns, with Ben Tillett, organised endurance among the halfstaived strikers, 
arranged by telegraph that provincial dockers should refuse work on ships from 
London, and established pickets that without violence (Burns put his own 
shoulders and fists between angry opponents) kept off most of the strike-breakers, 
whom the employers had offered wages four times higher than those asked by 
the strikers. The men’s cause was so well pleaded that the sut prised shippers 
found fair-minded public opinion against them. Nearly £ 50,000 was collected by 
subscription for the dockeis, ,£4,000 of it coming by cable from Australia. Clcigy 
of all denominations mediated for the men’s families; and “the docker’s tanner” 
received applause in the music halls The Corn Exchange, the Coal Exchange, 
Mincing Lane and the City’s wool sale rooms had to be closed before the dockers 
won this portentous strike, which startled London and promoted the growth of 
new unions for unskilled labour, including a national union of women workers 

Better times in the mid- nineties solved the unemployment problem for the 
moment; and Lord Salisbury’s young Tories set out to rival Gladstone’s Liberals 
in the improvement of working conditions Sporadic strikes attended a new rise 
in wage-levels; but trade union subscriptions rose to big totals, and manual w'orkers 
had breathing space for asserting power in politics. Keir Hardie, first chairman of 
the new Independent Labour Party, was played down Whitehall bv a brass band 
when he carried his cloth cap into the House of Commons as one of the first two 
members directly lepicscnting Laboui, the other being Burns, w'ho latei became 
more moderate and entered a Cabinet of Liberals The sepante Socialist and trade 
union elements fused politically in 1899 to form a Labour Representation Com- 
mittee (out of which the Labour Party grew), with Ramsay Macdonald, Keir 
Haiche and Arthur Henderson as chief organisers If Labour ideas now seemed tied 
to an outlook and jargon (“capitalist,” “proletariat,” “class-consciousness,” “wage- 

14s 



OUR FATHERS 


slavery” and whatnot) that seem obsolete in the third decade of .the twentieth 
century, a main reason is that most of its older leaders have minds coloured by the 
grievances which they helped to remedy in the ’nineties, when compulsory educa- 
tion was still bringing into the light thousands of under-nourished, atrociously 
clothed children, who hitherto had been hidden in slum warrens. 

Before the ’nineties were over the upper middle-class had been lifted into 
conditions reserved earlier for a confined ‘‘Society”; and the lower middle classes, 
through a wide circulation of prosperity, had risen to the standards and the 
snobberies vacated by their immediate “betters.” Only the working class was left, 
with social understanding clarified by the new education, to fight for a share in 
the riches accumulated by forty years of expansion. 

Labour combines, meanwhile, had forced combines in capital, and both restricted 
the chances for individualism while broadening the basis of employment. Before 
the days of trade unions, multiple shops, widespread investment and easy trans- 
port everywhere, the Victorian commercial traveller was a panjandrum of conse- 
quence in his wide territory, and carried the outside world into villages and towns 
off the beaten track, where he entertained largely in the local hotel. To be “on 
the road” was then to be somebody of more consequence than the modern sales- 
man-representative. It was easy for the traveller to finish as a merchant, not 
too hard for the foreman or works manager to become a manufacturer, and emin- 
ently possible for the industrious apprentice to reach at forty the status at which he 
rode his own horse to his own offices, where Aldermanic chains would find him in 
his fifties. Great individualists in the era of cheap labour — an Alfred Harmsworth, 
or a William Lever who, like the Cadburys, made philanthropy into the best kind 
of business by getting good work from spacious backgrounds for workers — greatly 
improved the conditions of labour. They found, indeed, that payment of better 
wages paid themselves; but they achieved, besides success, a paradox in making 
it harder for those who came after to climb as they had done. The classes, while 
their dividing lines vanished, were welded into a single middle class through 
pressure on the one side from new millionaire interests, and on the other from 
the masses who were uniting to conquer by numbers a promised land which 
they could not reach as individuals. 


144 



THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES’ 



>45 





A MONDAY POPULAR CONCERT FOR THE WORKING CLASSES IN ST. JAMES’S 
HALL: One of the Monday “ Pops ” opposed to Suburban Hops by W. S. Gilbert in Patience 


146 



“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES” 



rn&immszmmmM 

MAY FAIR : A SUNDAY AT HOME NEAR THE ACHILLES STATUE, HYDE PARK 


M7 





1 874 


OUR FATHERS 



1-0 



i8?5 


THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES’ 



14} 


A MOODY AND SAN KEY MEETING AT THE AGRICULTURAL HALL ‘“Crazy Moodv, as he was called w hen he threw up r, 2 oo 
dollars a year as a clerk in a boot store, is now known as ‘ Brother Moody ,* and has come among us to c\an^cli6c England and to etnvert 
heathen as degraded as cannibals Nothing can be simpler than his Revival meetings His style is both foiciblc and straightforward and if he 
finds attention flagging, he breaks off, and Mr Sankey’s melodious voice soon reminds them of f he puipose for which^iey are assembled * 







“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES” 

1872 



CARDINAL MANNING ADMINISTERING THE TEMPERANCE PLEDGE: ‘'An incident 
on Clerkcnwcll Green during Dr. Manning’s campaign to persuade the poor but drunken Irish 
in London to save their souls by forswearing the demon of whisky and other strong liquors ” 


151 








SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN A GIN PALACE “ The great argument tn favour of opening 
museums and picture gallcues on Sundajs is that thcj would be an alternative to the public 
houses, which are so seductive foi the working man on cold, wet and gloomj Sundav afternoons” 


1879 



SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN A PICTURE GALLERY - “ The * Sunday Society ’ which includes 
several clcrgj men, recently arranged for the opening on three successive Sundajs of an exhibit 
in New Bridge Street of water colour draw mgs, which was eagerly visited by working folk” 


155 




1 8S 5 



A DAI IN HIE COUNTRY \\ ITH Till- CHILD RLN b ANNUAL OUTING SOCIEIY “ The plc-dsuics of a day in the country, for 
children, \\ ho have looked forward to it for w ceks past, depends gicatl) on the efforts of the kind ladies and gentlemen who arrange the pro- 
gramme Chief among these are those paiochial Sisteis of Chai:t\ u ho aie the indefatigable lieutenants of a Vicar and Rector , scarcely 
inferior to those in energy is the little and nervous Curate, who, bashful to the extreme in public, compels himself to open every game, 
* pour encourager les autres.’ He earns at least the loving admiration of the ladies, who see nothing but beauty in the lines of his contortions ” 




THE PHOTOGRAPHER AT A BEAN-FEAST : “ By the time the photographer arrives, the holiday-makers are generally rid of any stolidity 
which may have characterised them earlier in the day. They consequently regard the performance of the photographer less as a historical function 
than as a practical joke. The effect is to make them incapable of standing still at the critical moment. The effect upon the photographer is 
to reduce him to a rendition bordering upon imbecility as he tries to range them in decent orderliness” (Drawn from life by Paul Renouard 



OUR FATHERS 



ENROLMENT OF SPECIAL CONSTABLES : “ The special constables who have assisted 
the police in preserving Trafalgar Square from the invasion of riotous unemployed mobs include 
Q.C.’s, M.P.'s, Government Officials, tradesmen and their assistants,' many volunteers and a 
few artisans. There was jeering while top-hatted instructors addressed them from the plinth ” 







“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES’ 

1872 



THE “ HOLE IN THE WALL ” Sunday evening with the London Republicans in Kirby 
Street, London The following is a specimen of Sunday evening declamation at this resort : 
“ Go down, gorged and gross , go, the seigneur and varlet. 

For you rot in the heart and the brain, like the harlot ” 

1890 



MUSIC FOR THE INDUSTRIAL CLASSES “ The popular musical union, for the musical 
training of the industrial classes, has been visiting Bermondsey, Clerkenwell, and Whitechapel, 
with programmes ranging from the ‘Messiah’ to the songs of Sullivan Over 20,000 persons 
attended, and these will carry the joy of music to others among the masses ” 


157 



OUR FATHERS 


1892 



SUNDAY EVENING AT THE ANARCHISTS’ CLUB IN BERNERS STREET, E.: 
“ ‘ Awake, ye men who toil ! — Up, proletarians 1 ’ — followed by groans for the Capitalists and 
cheers for Karl Marx, the German Socialist writer who is now a refugee living in London” 


IJ8 






“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES” 

1891 



TWO DAYS WITH GOD IN DARKEST ENGLAND : “ General Booth on one of the 
platforms tvhere he has unfolded his plans for restoring to self-respect that large portion of the 
community sunk in hopeless poverty and degradation. Although Professor Huxley has raised 
his agnostic voice in denunciation of ‘ corybantic Christianity,’ General Booth should be given 
an opportunity to experiment as his followers possess enthusiasm, simple-heartedness and ‘go’” 


*59 



1872 


OUR FATHERS 



THE DEBTORS’ NEW YEAR : “ On the last stroke of midnight of December 31, 63 inmates 
of the old Debtors Prison were discharged under the new Bankruptcy Act. One man, who had 
been in for 27 years, went to a beggars’ shelter. Another had been there 7 years for a debt of £40” 

1 Co 




“THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES” 

1889 



RED STAR CHILD MURDERERS AT HOLY SERVICE : “ These infanticides are branded 
or labelled with two stars, like a second-class quality of Henessey’s or Martell’s cognac ; the 
red star under the black one being significant of * murder most foul.’ These infanticides, 
serving a life sentence in Woking convict prison, are said by the warders, however, to be the 
best behaved of all female transgressors, many of them being truly penitent, thanks to the chaplain” 



MRS. MAYBRICK ADDRESSES THE COURT: “Sir Charles Russell, Q.C., having 
mentioned tnat Mrs. Maybrick, charged with (and afterwards convicted of) the murder of her 
husband, desired to make a statement regarding her children and the late Maybrick, the Court 
was crowded with Bank Holiday sightseers. The prisoner wore long white cuffs, black gloves 
and a thin veil, and clung to the front of the dock for several moments, swaying to and fro 
in an earnest effort to restrain her tears while she spoke in a voice broken with emotion” 

161 




" THE CLASSES AND THE MASSES ” AT ASCOT “ List Wednesday was Iptly termed 
an ‘ ideal Cap Day,’ although a little more cool wind would have been acceptable. Of late years 
Ascot has grown more staid and aristocratic, and a highly respectable air now prevails not merely 
on the exclusive ‘ lawn,’ and in paddock and grind stand, where brilliant and tasteful toilettes 
were paraded, but even among the ‘ masses ’ on the Heath facing the charmed circle ” 


162 








INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 


Most of civilisation submitted to violent political change between 1870 and 1900. 
Civil conflict, wars with neighbours, coups d’etat, fundamental alterations in the 
form of government; these were plentiful, and no Power was exempt from 
all of them. The period opened with a belt of disturbances buckled round the 
world from the furthermost East (where a Japanese Mikado had just driven the 
last Shogun from power, but was still harried by feudalists who bitterly opposed 
the introduction of foreign influence) to the far West, where Brazil fought 
Paraguay and revolution stirred in Mexico, Peru and half the countries recently 
emancipated from Spanish domination. 

In Europe the Franco-German War had just begun, supposedly through a dis- 
pute over candidates for the Spanish throne, but with deeper causes that included 
Napoleon Ill’s belief in his inheritance of destiny, and the determination of Bis- 
marck and Kaiser Wilhelm I to weld a strong Empire out of German federation. 
The resonant victory — 

“Glory to God, my dear Augusta, 

We have had another buster. 

Ten thousand Frenchmen sent below, 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow” 

— had vital results other than the establishment of a strong German Empire and 
the elimination of a French one in favour of the Third Republic. It tore away 
French provinces that became the French nationalist grail for vows of recovery. 
It provoked the Commune in Paris, which shot communist ideas all over Europe. 
And the withdrawal of French troops held in Rome for the Pope left the way 
open for King Victor Emmanuel to march in and occupy the Eternal City, thus 
putting the essential corner-stone upon the united independent Italy which Mazzini 
and the Carbonari had plotted, Garibaldi and the variegated rest had fought for, 
and Cavour had intricately planned. 

England, in the middle ’seventies, was again the strongest power in Europe, 
which included a humiliated France, an Austria-Hungary gnawed by racial 
dissension, a Spain weakened by civil war and a Russia intent on Asiatic expan- 
sion. The recently-born German Empire took the lead on the Continent, and held 
it until Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890. 

Anglo-Russian rivalry echoed through the Near East, where the Ottoman 
Empire was rotting to pieces. In 1870 most of the Balkan peninsula was under 
Turkey; by 1900 more than half of Turkey-in-Europe was independent. Osman 

163 



OUR FATHERS 


Pasha’s victory at Plevna could not hold up defeat in the Russo-Turkish war of 
1877, which derived from Russian pan-Slavist ambitions grafted on to horror at 
the massacre of Bulgarian Christians after an insurrection. Disraeli’s refusal 
(which threatened Anglo-Russian war) to let Russia take either Constantinople or 
any sea-outlet on the way to India led to the Berlin Congress and the formation, 
of Balkan States. The Congress was a polished duel between Disraeli, aged 73, 
and the Russian Gortchakoff, aged 80, with Bismarck, nearly 70, acting as “the 
honest broker” who yet nursed the interests of Austria, for whom he secured Bosnia 
and Herzegovina. • Their settlement of old problems raised many new ones, but 
it achieved Disraeli’s urgent desire to curb Russian influence in the Near East. 
“The old Jew, that is the man,” said Bismarck. 

A side-issue of the Congress was the French conquest of Tunis, which Bismarck 
favoured as a means of letting France forget in new overseas provinces the rape 
of Alsace-Lorraine. Soon afterwards Bismarck became stirred by Colonial ambi- 
tions for Germany; without a fleet and without moving a soldier, he annexed 
millions of square miles in German East Africa, South-West Africa, Togoland, 
the Cameroons and Northern New Guinea. The big race across the world for new 
territories was in full swing. 

The main centre of foreign interest moved to Egypt, which under a weakened 
Turkey came beneath first the financial domination of European Powers. The 
Khedive Ismail’s chronic extravagance and need for money led to Disraeli’s coup 
of paying, with Rothschild help, ,£4,000,000 in quick cash for his Suez Canal 
shares; a deal which committed Britain to a lasting interest in Egypt. The 
Khedive’s credit totally collapsed in the year after, and a Franco-British Commis- 
sion took control on behalf of bondholders who had financed (and fleeced) him. 

Next, Arabi Pasha’s revolt against Ismail’s nerveless successor as Khedive 
brought a British bombardment of Alexandria, in reprisal for the killing of 
Europeans. The French having declined to co-operate, the dual control of Egypt 
ended when Wolseley trounced Arabi. “In a fit of absent-mindedness,” Britain 
had acquired domination in Egypt, with an attendant sequence of troubles in the 
Soudan — slave-trading, the Mahdi's revolt against the infidel and the oppressive 
Egyptian tax-gatherers, the disaster to Hicks Pasha’s army, and Gordon’s mission 
to evacuate the Soudan — a mission which he appeared to forget after reaching 
Khartoum. The fall of Khartoum and Gordon’s death ended an adventure that 
was not renewed until eleven years later. By then, in 1896, the race for African 
“places in the sun” had assumed nervous intensity as the available places dimin- 
ished; and in this mood England decided that Egypt’s safety lay in the re-conquest 
of the Soudan. Kitchener’s complete victories over the Soudanese Khalifa opened 
the way to the Great Lakes and made possible the all-red belt across Africa, 
from Cairo to Cape Town. 

It also drew European jealousies and brought a dangerous friction with 
France when Major Marchand was sent to hoist the French flag at Fashoda. 
Britain’s announced standpoint that the Equatorial Provinces were her “sphere 
of influence” was Kitchener’s reason for hurrying to Fashoda from Khartoum, and 

164 



INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 


while keeping on friendly terms with Marchand, hoisting the British flag as well. 
Tension grew up in France, who had ambitions of her own for a territorial 
strip across Africa; and her capitulation at Fashoda, in face of Lord Salisbury’s 
adamancy, left bad blood stirring. 

Eastward into Asia, the story is one of Russian expansion, British moves to 
check it; determination by Germany, France and a rising Japan not to be left out 
of the scramble for acquisition, and resentment from the helpless Chinese Empire, 
goaded by encroachments from the newer civilisation which she disliked. 

Britain and India watched with alarm the Russian absorption* of province after 
province in Central Asia. With the British, Russian and Chinese Empires almost 
touching at one point, the penetration of Russian influence into Afghanistan finally 
brought action against the unfriendly Amir Shere Ali. The expedition to Kabul 
under Generals Sir Sam Browne and Roberts having eliminated the Russian 
mission, a British one was installed under Sir Louis Cavagnari; but Sir Louis and 
his mission were murdered when the British forces withdrew, and a second 
invasion of Afghanistan culminated in the placing on the throne of a British 
nominee and Roberts’s famous march to relieve Kandahar. Gladstone’s dislike of 
Imperial adventure led to evacuation by the British, who kept control of the 
Khyber Pass. More Central Asian occupations by Russia led to further anxieties, 
but Russo-British relations improved when Russian ambitions shifted to Northern 
Asia. 

The menace to India from the North having faded away, Britain found herself 
contending with French rivalry eastward, in Burmah and Indo-China. Com- 
mercial privileges given in Burmah to French (and in some cases Italian) subjects 
were denied to British. The rejection of an ultimatum to King Theebaw led to 
the occupation of Mandalay by an Indian army, and to the issuing of the fifty- 
word statement by Lord Dufferin, as Viceroy, whereby Upper Burmah was 
annexed. Trouble then arose over the frontier between Burmah and Indo-China. 
Sharp argument, and even threat, continued for three years, after which Lord 
Salisbury granted all that France demanded. 

The international scramble lasted longer in China. England’s aim had been to 
maintain the Chinese Empire’s territorial integrity. In the ’eighties Russia, France 
and Japan (then growing into the Eastern model of a Western State) began to 
make encroachments. Russia’s desire was for a warm water port, free from ice all 
the year round, on the Pacific coast. To that end she pressed into Manchuria, and 
planned diversions from her newly-conceived Trans-Siberian railway (this enter- 
prise, undertaken with the help of French money, incidentally promoted the draw- 
ing away of Russian interests from Germany to France). France established 
shadowy claims on the former Chinese provinces of Annam, Cochin China, 
Tonkin and Cambodia. Japan, wanting a headquarters on the mainland, cast eyes 
on Korea. £>he found pretexts for war, and surprised Europe with a relentless 
efficiency that defeated the Chinese on land and sea, and forced the cession of 
islands and mainland territory, including Port Arthur. The concessions on the 
mainland were forced back at the instance of Russia, France and Germany; and 

165 




66 




INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 


within three years Russia seized Port Arthur in retaliation for the siege of Kiao- 
chow by Germany. Britain followed by taking Wei-hai-Wei, and France took 
Kwan-chow-Wan. Chinese patience, exhausted by the long period of grab, com- 
pletely gave way; the Boxer war followed, and led to many atrocities and further 
losses in Chinese independence. 

The remaining territorial changes before 1900 were in or near the Americas. 
The Latin American republics, after establishing their complete independence of 
Spain, Portugal and two emperors nominated from Europe, intermittently nibbled 
at each other’s land, while the United States gave herself a brief 0 to watch that no 
Power except herself should fish for influence in the troubled waters. The same 
sort of brief was a motive, late in the ’nineties, for the war against Spain in support 
of the oppressed Cubans. The cession by Spain of Cuba, Porto Rico and the 
Philippines ended the Spanish-American war with complete success for the United 
States in her role of Big Brother to the Latin States. 

Internally, the pre-M'kinley era in the United States was from 1870 one of 
consolidation and large-minded development, interrupted only now and then by 
Indian risings, violent strikes and financial turmoil. The ferment left over from 
the Civil War passed during the ’seventies, the South recovered in part, the indus- 
trial North made astonishing progress. More Western States — the Dakotas, Mon- 
tana, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming — joined the Union. Vast grain-lands, 
cattle-lands and sheep-lands were opened up in the Middle West, with attendant 
rushes into free lands taken from Indian tribes. Railroad networks across the 
continent were completed. Discoveries in oil and copper made new millionaires 
overnight. Negroes obtained the vote, Chinese were excluded, but a haphazard 
immigration, which was to cause lawlessness, flowed in from all over Europe. 
The Mormons were deprived of polygamy. The American woman’s famous 
pedestal was built; women received the vote in some States, in others they inaugur- 
ated a war against whisky and other “liquor.” Chicago and San Francisco grew 
to be great cities. New industries, new inventions, new wealth, new strength, new 
attitudes, new racial strife, even new religions rose throughout the Union. The 
United States came to be known as claimant for the Biggest in Everything. 

The final years in Europe saw the Continent dividing itself into great armed 
combinations, separately jealous of each other, but jointly jealous of Britain’s navy 
and colonisadon, which had successfully conflicted with the overseas interests of 
Germany, France and Russia (in the case of France, the irritation was intensified 
by Fashoda, and by British sympathy with the victim of the Dreyfus military 
tyranny). Europe met at the first Hague Peace Conference in 1899, talked politely, 
and rose to watch the Boer War through telescopes that, except in Italy and 
Scandinavia, were distorted by bias against England. 



167 



OUR FATHERS 



A CAT AND DOG BUTCHER IN BESIEGED PARIS “ \ large dog fetches from zoo 
to 300 francs, but small ones sell for 12, 20 or 30 francs Cats vary from 9 to 25 francs 
W e ha\ e already consumed elephants, camels, giraffes, etc , from the Jardrns d’Acclimatation 
et des Plantes, but these are luxuries only for the \erv rich The poor eat rats 

1870 



“TWO SOUS FOR A PEEP AT THE PRUSSIANS” "Owners of telescopes m Paris 
are reaping a harvest bv hiring out their instruments at a spot whence the Prussians can be 
seen on the heights of Meudon. The proprietors find a tufted willow stump in the distance 


168 



INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 

1871 



COMMUNE, OR DEATH— THE WOMEN OF MONTMARTRE . Amazons of the Com- 
mune — “coarse, brawny, unwomanly and degraded,” marching to defend a barricade against the 
National Guards after the Franco-Prussian war. “Each woman had a chassepot slung across 
her shoulders, a belt and a cartouche box full of cartridges, and a jeering, shameless look ” 

169 




170 




INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 



PROCLAMATION OF A SPANISH REPUBLIC “ The street sign in Madnd on ‘ Ambassadors’ 
Street ’ was broken up, the foreign representatives being supposed to have Monarchical tendencies , 
except the United States Minister, who is to offer the new Republic congratulations” 



OUR FATHERS 


1872 



THE FIRST RAILWAY IN JAPAN : (Sketched by a native artist): “The opening ceremony 
at Yeddo of the railway which connects that city with Yokohama was by no means well attended ” 


17 * 





INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 

187J 



AN EXECUTION AT YOKOHAMA : “ The first man having been led forward, the executioner 
wetted the long sharp blade with a drop of water, took aim, and with the slightest possible move- 
ment severed the head from the body ; two coolies sprang forward, one thumped the back of the 
corpse to quicken the msh of blood, while the other took the head from the pit, washed it and 
held it up, perfectly white and perfectly calm in expression. The corpse was shoved aside, covered 
with mats, and the next victim was led forth for a repetition of the same gruesome ceremonies ” 



A EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION FOR JAPAN : “ The Emperor Mutsuhito has fulfilled his 
promise of nine years ago that a Parliamentary system would be carried into effect before 1890. 
He read the new Constitution in the new Palace in Tokio, in the presence of all the power, wealth, 
intellect and high lineage of Japan. The royal family appeared either in evening dress or in 
uniforms modelled on those of Europe. The Constitution met with popular rejoicing, but ‘ Old 
Japan ’ showed itself in the assassination that very morning of Viscount Mori, Education Minister ” 


173 





OUR FATHERS 






mrf. 


i Ss.tySSr 


I' 

, . .pife ■ " 

Li«R 


v *• ■ « 


SAHIBS AT SUEZ— AND SOME UNPUKKA BEHAVIOUR : “ It would be easier to 
write in the midst of a pitched battle than to attempt a detailed account amid such a tumult as 
attended the opening of the new Suez station. A peer on a portmanteau here, a Congressman 
on a hat box there, confusion everywhere — a stormy multitude with multitudinous baggage ” 


Si 3 




IN RE MR. DISRAELI’S PURCHASE OF THE KHEDIVE’S SUEZ CANAL SHARES : 
“ The excitement was naturally intense when the news reached Cairo. English, French, Turks, 
Armenians and Israelites ignored the performance in the Opera House and remained in the 
lobby to discuss how England means ultimately to use the shares she has acquired ” 


174 




SACRIFICE FOR THE SYRIAN RAILWAY’S FIRST SOD “ The Mussulman portion of the 
inaugural ceremony, when the first sod was cut of the new Syria Ottoman Railway which is to 
connect Haifa with Damascus, included the slaughter on the exact spot of one sheep, and of 
fourteen others close by, the blood from their throats being allowed to saturate the ground ” 


T 75 



88 



THE JESUITS EXPELLED FROM FRANCE : “ The headquarters of the Jesuits in Paris, 
in the Rue de Sevres, was forcibly entered by police agents, as was every other Jesuit confraternity 
throughout France. The Police Commissary read the decree of expulsion, and when the request 
to open the inner door was refused, the doors were forced by a locksmith, and the Priests, many of 
them old and feeble, were led out through kneeling crowds amid cries of ‘A bas la Republique ’ ” 


1887 



THE BIRTH OF KING ALFONSO : “ Much anxiety preceded the childbirth of the widowed 
Regent of Spain, as in the event of the birth of a girl, trouble might have arisen from th6 Carlist or 
Republican parties. The birth of the infant Alphonse on May 17, 1 886, was announced as a sign 
of Providence by Scnor Sagasta, the Premier, when he arrived from the Queen-Mother’s suite 
to inform the Ministers, officials and grandees who in such cases are entitled to ‘ a private view.’ 
The young Prince, on a silver salver, was shown to the assemblage amid cries of ‘Viva el Rey’” 


176 



INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 



THE FIRST CHINESE IMPERIAL RECEPTION OF FOREIGN LADIES “ The ladies of 
the Diplomatic Body, seven w number, mounted the dais one by one, bowed to the Boy Emperor, 
and shook hands with the Empress Dowager, who presented to each a gold ring” (By a 

Chinese artist) 

177 





OUR FATHERS 


1878 



AMENITIES OF 19TII CENTURY EXPLORATION Mr H M Stanley s Anglo American 
Expedition to Central Africa haying mot ed to Bumbireh Island on Lake Victoria, the names 
were amiable until the explorers’ canoe was hauled on to di> land They then collected a large 
force through war cries “ Twelve captives including mi self were in their power, and how we 
escaped death then cvcij bow was drawn and every spcai quit cred m the hand, and clubs were 
whirled mcnacmgh is mere than I can say The steadiness of mt looks disconccitcd them, and 
bows were unstrung, although they seized my hair and tugged it vongcfully One man received 
a blow on the head, another a savage poke in the ribs with a spear . They were kind 
enough to notift us that they intended to cut out throats and to tell us in a scornful manner 
to get ready ’ The party escaped by one section distracting the natives attention with a present 
of doth while the others pushed the boat into the lake, and sank the three canoes sent in pursuit 


n8 






LYNCHINGS IN NEW ORLLANS “Following the murder of Mr David Hcnnessy, super- 
intendent of New Orleans police, because of his attempts to suppress the league of assassins, 
nineteen Italians were tried for his murder The jury, said to have been intimidated or bribed, 
acquitted six of the prisoners, w ho w ere kept in gaol for the night A document was then issued by 
leading lawyers, merchants, and ex-officials, calling citizens to an open air meeting, where it 
was rcsohed to h nch the prisoners The hnchers biohi into the prison in broad da\ light 
and shot or hanged clea en Italians, thus causing a diplomatic rupture between the U S and Italj ” 

l8c>8 



THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR Buying War Bonds at the Sub-Treasury in New York City 


179 





i888 


OUR FATHERS 



AMONG THE TEXAS COV/ BO\ S ' Cowboys and their friends ride into ‘town’ on a 
Sundai , and sit outside the saloons talking The Tc\an law against opening saloons on Sunday is 
not enforced, so that drinking goes on, but not too much, as persistent tippling rums the nerves 
of men who must nde anything anywhere at any time on any other day of the strenuous week” 


180 



INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 

1877 



PRIM ATOMS AT NIAGARA: "If there is one place where that 19th century nuisance the 
ambulatory photographer becomes a positive insult, it is at Niagara Falls. Yet there are people 
who never seem to get tired of seeing themselves portrayed there — two such are depicted by out 
artist posing with the raging rapids below the Falls as background. When we look upon the two 
prim, self-important atoms and the three-legged monster in the foreground, we feel that truly 
there is but a step between the sublime and the ridiculous and that here it has been taken” 


181 



i8 9 5 


OUR FATHERS 









DEGRADATION Or CAPTAIN DREV FCS, for ‘ communicating State documents to a foreign 
countn ” “ At a sign from General Darras, a guardsman tore oft the gold lace, the buttons, the 
embroider) and the red bands on the dishonoured officer’s uniform. Ills svoid \vis snapped in 
two, and cast on the ground He was then ma rehed round the square as a last disgiace I w as 
much struck b) his dignified bearing during the shameful ordeal” iFrom the English artist’s notes) 



mm 


ELEVE 
after tria 
proving 










INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 

1898 



WAR n\ T RTF D AT TASllODA The meeting on the S S Dal between Major General Sir 
Heibcit Kitchener, Sirdar of the Egjptian armj , and Major Marchand, who with French troops 
(later ts lthdrawn) had occupied Fasboda in defiance of an official British notification that the Valley 
of the Nile between the lakes and the southern Egyptian frontier is as a British sphere of influence 


185 





THE BRITON ABROAD— A SKETCH BEFORE NOTRE DAME : “ Since the inauguration 
of personally conducted parties/ a new species of traveller has invaded the Continent, The 
ubiquitous Conductor takes a detachment of seekers after knowledge completely in tow, and 
small armies of the most strangely-matched travellers are to be found in every town in Europe. 
The costumes worn are marvels of ugliness and ingenuity, and give the benighted foreigner a 
curious idea of British taste. Wherever he goes, the average Briton carries his insular stamp 99 


184 




INTERNATIONAL OCCASIONS 


1 88 5 



UNGENTEEL TREATMENT Ob ENGLISH TOURISTS While lunching in Frankfort, 
four English gentlemen and a lady were approached by dctectit es who after comparing one of their 
number, a Mr Wimble, with a photograph they carried arrested the part) Only at 1 1 pm, 
after the Enghsh Vice Consul had inten cned, w ere they released, \t ithout explanation or apology ” 


1892 



HANDCUFFED THOUGH CLEARLY A GENTLEMAN “ Mr. Ferguson Purdie, who 
was arrested at Auteuil Races on a charge of pocket picking, has a real grievance against the 
French police Though clearly a gentleman, he was marched through the streets handcuffed, 
and it was four days before the Embassy could effect his release No ecphnation is forthcoming ” 


185 


OUR FATHERS 



86 


BOILED SLAVES IN THE CONGO : “ Mr. Peters, a trader from the Orange Free State, was canoeing down the Bolumbo when he and his 

men heard, in the stillness of the Congo night, approaching sounds from slave-laden canoes. Putting out into the river stealthily, Mr. 
Peters and his party surprised and fired on the slave-traders. A bullet pierced one of the canoes, which sank. Three remaining canoes were 
seized, and some of the slave-traders were shot. Mr. Peters found abundance of human flesh in each canoe, the cooking pots being full of legs, 
arms, and hands, some boiled, some boiling, other pieces roasted and dry. As figure-head, one canoe bore on a stick a dead man’s jaw bones ” 




THE RISE OF SPORT 


It is fifty years since Ouida’s dandy jumped into a rowing eigh,t and stroked it 
to victory, largely because be rowed faster than the rest of the crew. Young men 
behind counters, as well as old Blues behind club windows, laughed at the woman 
novelist’s hero. Their ability to do so was a sign of the new athleticism, which 
within the space of ten years ran across the land with the quickness of a gorse fire. 

■ Sport for adults, until the later 1860’s, had been a preserve for Corinthians, and 
for the raffish prize-fighters, jockeys, runners and whatnot who traded upon this 
male aristocracy’s adventures outside “high life.” Beyond that circle there had 
been only country games and wrestling, the cricket of village greens, the croquet 
of vicarage lawns, and gentle, genteel archery. Nor was the nation’s physique 
softer because seven-eighths of it was without organised games before the middle- 
class capture of schools and universities. Meanwhile, middle-class wealth, and the 
standards it introduced, broke down the barriers from sport as from so much else; 
and the school habit of games was rapidly passed along the line of class-sections 
that raced on, like Rugby forwards, to the touchline of power. The aristocracy 
began by sneering at what it regarded as pretentiousness in sport, and ended by 
being centre-forward in the national rush to “play the game.” 

Football entered the ’seventies as a rough, rudimentary affair, developed with 
widely varying rules and varying numbers a side. The football at Rugby School 
was still a courageous violence when Blackheath and the Harlequins adopted it. 
Intentional kicking at opponents’ legs was not forbidden at Rugby until 1877. 
The first England v. Scotland rugger match, arranged in 1872, was played twenty 
a side; and “before one of the Scottish backs could take his drop kick he was 
charged and sent spinning backwards by a strong English forward.” As late as 
i83i its many dozen of casualties provoked agitation. The Mayor of Southampton 
appealed to heads of schools and families “to prevent the game of football from 
being played acetording to Association, Rugby Union, and other rules of a 
dangerous character” (an old agitation — in 1457 a Scottish Parliament had decreed 
that “Fute-ball be utterly cryit doune and nocht usit”). Nevertheless, hundreds 
of well-supported clubs were formed before the ’nineties. International rugger 
matches between England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales quickly grew popular. 
Association football, whose players were described by one rugger international 
as “ballet dancers,” widened from Charterhouse and other schools to include “the 
masses,” who first played it furiously and then let it become a preserve for 
professionals to such a point that it turned them into crowds of spectators, and 
rivalled horse-racing as a medium for working-class gambling. 

English football went all over the world before the century’s end (the more 

187 N 



OUR FATHERS 


violent Ameucan variety was a blend of early Association with the Rugger intro- 
duced from Canada), but the lovely, leisurely game of cricket, which needs years 
of assimilation before its finer points are understood, has stayed in England and 
the places settled by Englishmen since it began. There were, and still are, a few 
clubs in the United States; but except in British Columbia, cricket m North 
America remains as restricted a pastime as real tennis in Great Butain It is an odd 
fact, which I do not attempt to explain, that whereas no othci white 1 ace has taken 
to cricket, it ha t s been adopted by browns, blacks and yellows in Africa, India, 
Malaya, the West Indies and the Treaty Ports of China 

The village greens, even more than the schools and universities, had fostered 
it since the 18th century. Old Bovs played for the local squire’s team, or for ancient 
clubs like I. Zmgan and the Free Foresters County matches did not begin until 
1872, and then their fixtures were not classified for eighteen years It was the 
Australians who gave the game its great encouragement. A visiting team under 
Dr. Gregory startled England with its talent It roundly beat the M C C , includ- 
ing the great W. G Grace; beat them, moreover, in four and a halt hours, and 
dismissed them for 33 and 19, the demon Spofforth taking 6 wickets for 4 runs. 
This success was thought to be a flash in the pan, but the shock of defeat by un- 
knowns (the Australians had been so little regarded that the stands at Lords w'ere 
half empty) acted as an irritant. England should collect the perfect team, and 
next time the Colonials came, theirs should be the tiouncing W. G. Grace led 
his picked men, including his two brothers, on to the Oval ground for the first 
Test Match in the September of 1880 Australia lost, but were not trounced; they 
lost with honour, by five wickets, and went home well respected, after a torn 
in which they had beaten a dozen local clubs that played eighteen men against 
the invaders’ eleven or twelve. They returned to the Oval two years after, and 
this time they won by seven runs in a game that made legend and cricket history; 
a game to which each five minutes of the last half-hour gave a sharp thrill The 
match made Australia better known to England in general than anything in her 
earlier history; while as for Spofforth, who had taken 14 wickets for 90 runs, he 
was more glamorous to prep-schoolboys than Buffalo Bill or Ned Kelly the bush- 
ranger. England’s prowess, said the wry jesters, was cremated; its ashes were in 
Botany Bay. So the mythical Ashes came into being, and England set sail, on a 
rising tide of excitement, to win and bring them back. Since thfcn the Iliad of the 
Ashes has continued, with two year pauses between the cantos; English heroes 
sailing to Antipodean Troy for recapture of the abducted Urn, Australian heroes 
sailing 1 6 its abduction anew, while the elements of earth and sky help each m turn, 
and the races applaud and the recorders of sport as nearly touch the epic as they 
ever will (there is that in cricket which drives enthusiasts into rapt turgidity of 
language, and I am unashamedly among them) 

One half of the ownership in cricket is Australia’s Because of her provocation 
the English counties made it the national game Most boys in schools privileged 
to play a match at Lords dreamed of making four debuts there — for school, 
university, county and, supremely above all, for England. By the late ’eighties, an 

188 



THE RISE OF SPORT 


English success against Australia had as much popular acclaim as a victory on the 
Nile by Sir Garnet. Wisden, Arthur Shrewsbury, R. H. Spooner, A. E. Stoddard, 
Lord Hawke, A. C. Maclaren, the Lilleywhites, Gilbert Jessop, C. B. Fry, F. S. 
Jackson, Ranjitsinjhi, Abel, Hayward and a dozen more in the dynasty, down to 
the plump young man called Plum Warner — these were club-room and news- 
paper idols for the merchant and clerk, the schoolboy and schoolmaster, the land- 
lord and labourer. Men born in the ’nineties learned at twelve the Test Match 
history of a dozen years, and still remember Australians they ktjew from hearsay : 
Gregory, Noble, Albert Trott, Victor Trumper. As for W. G. Grace, the greatest 
cricketer of them 'all, he is the immortal of British sport, and will so remain even 
though Don Bradman far surpasses his record of scoring 75,625 runs, taking 
11,092 wickets and being the most daring field at point ever known. He belonged 
to cricket during the thirty years when it grew to be the best-loved game; and 
it is a small exaggeration to say that cricket belonged to him. The dictatorial, 
much-bearded old man, still flogging sixes at sixty, was as much the sportsman’s 
hero in the 1890’s as was the then Prince of Wales. His fame will last for as long 
as England faces Australia with bats of willow. 

Golf had come south with James I, but though the Scots nursed it beyond St. 
Andrews, Blackheath had remained its only English club for two and a half 
centuries. Then, in 1863, a Scottish general visiting his vicar-cousin in Devon 
looked upon the sand, grass and undulations of Westward Ho, and remarked, 
“All this was manifestly designed by an all-wise Providence for golf.” The 
making of this seaside course promoted a boom. It developed slowly at first — 
as late as 1880 a man who carried golf-clubs in rural England was an oddity; 
maiden ladies sometimes thought him a dangerous oddity. Golf was confounded 
with the new game of polo, and it was surmised by strangers to it that golfers, 
who usually wore red coats, must be good riders (polo collected other miscon- 
structions during the years after 1867, when the 10th Hussars introduced it from 
the East — the popular term for it was hockey on horseback) . 

Westward Ho, imitating a daring innovation at St. Andrews, laid out a special 
course for ladies. But (this in 1873), “whereas the male golfer goes out with 
seven to twelve clubs, the lady golfer carries but one club, a putter, which costs 
4/6. Great and varied is the interest that arises from the skilful use of this one 
club.” Hoylake? Sandwich, Wimbledon, and other new clubs extended golf in 
the ’eighties, and to Sandwich came, in 1892, the first Amateur Championship 
competition held outside Scotland. The game’s popularity was by then a sudden 
mania. 

The sudden popularity of lawn tennis was more than a mania; it became 
phenomenal in 1880, only six years after Major Wingfield took out his patent for 
a “new and improved court for playing the ancient game of (real) tennis.” The 
code of rules drawn up in the next year for lawn tennis retained his court in the 
shape of an hour-glass, and the scoring was as for racquets. Croquet (already 
superseded in India and diminished in England by Badminton), took a viper to 
its bosom in 1875. It included lawn tennis in the programme of the All England 

189 




“ THE PRINCE OF WALES PLAYS TENNIS at the new club at Baden-Baden with Mrs. Harris, Lord Charles Bercsfbrd and Mr. Wilson 


THE RISE OF SPORT 


Croquet Club (a body founded by J. H. Walsh, first Editor of The Field, who 
presented it with his pony roller on condition that the committee made his daughter 
a life member). The present scoring and shape of court were introduced to tennis 
in 1877, when the name of the club was changed to All England Croquet and 
Lawn Tennis Club, and the first lawn tennis championship meeting was held. 
The service was then underhand, the racquets were pear-shaped, and it was 
permitted to play on both sides of the net. 

Hail tennis, farewell to croquet. All England justified th$ club’s name in 
tennis, and half England dropped its croquet mallets. The “tennis girl” arrived 
with peaked hat and bustled skirt, and captured the land. She was not the new 
woman, but Miss Todd and her kind, in cumbersome dresses, ran with the 
advance guard of mutton-chopped male champions who introduced the volley 
into championship play (there was an agitation over its alarming strength, and 
volleying became obsolete until the Brothers Renshaw brought it back). The 
Renshaws were spectacular enough to draw the top-hatted town in special trains 
to Wimbledon. Through several years they were championship attractions of a 
magnitude never since exceeded, and equalled only by R. F. and H. L. Doherty at 
the turn of the century, and the Lenglen in the nineteen-twenties. 

Tennis, cricket, football, golf were the prime products of sport in the popular 
sense during the three decades. Polo rose with Hurlingham and Ranelagh to be 
the game of the cavalry elect and the socially minded. Hockey reached its heyday 
and kept a fairly large following. Field athletics were standardised in 1880 under 
the newly formed A.A.A., were fostered by the Polytechnic and Y.M.C.A move- 
ments, and reached their competitive peak with the revival of the Olympic games 
in 1896. The only Victorian sport not passed on as a legacy is cycling, which for 
many years was more an athletic adventure than a method of traction. Those who 
rode the iron-tyred “Boneshaker” of 1868, the “Phantom” of 1869 (hard rubber 
tyres), or the fearsome “Spider” high bicycle (which came in 1872, when H. R. 
Curtis rode 20 miles in an hour) were believed, like balloonists, to be daring 
exceptionals. The Pickwick Cycle Club and others doubled the number of male 
bicyclists each year in the ’seventies, until in 1881 cycle notes began to appear in 
the sporting columns. Starley’s low Rover cycle displaced the high contraption 
in 1885, and variations of the safety-cycle made the sport possible for women. By 
the early ’ninetfts half a million new cycles were sent on the English roads each 
winter, and Battersea Park was a Ranelagh for lady cyclists. The bicycle-made- 
for-two arrived as a help to excursion and sentiment. Some doctors and rectors 
did their rounds on the tricycle, instead of in the pony buggy. In the new century 
the cycle and the tandem were later diminished, and then completely overshadowed 
by the internal combustion engine. Meanwhile, apart from their direct status in 
sport, they played an indirect part, through transport that was quick and inex- 
pensive for reaching the centres of sport, in developing the cult of games which 
was a gift to the world from Victorian England and Scotland. 


19T 



OUR FATHERS 


1871 



“THE CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING AT BROMPTON : Inter-University hurdling” 


192 






AN ENGLAND v. SCOTLAND RUGGER MATCH AT KENNINGTON OVAL : “ In the 
first quarter of an hour, when the English were defending the Gasometer goal, the ball was 
forced through the Scottish ranks and kicked past their ‘ half-back ’ almost to the goal line, where 
it was caught by one of the ‘ backs.’ Before he could take his ‘ drop kick ’ he was sent spinning 
by a strong English ‘ forward,’ and the English team rushed on for the Scottish quarters” 



FOOTBALL IN AFGHANISTAN : “ Football was recently introduced into Afghanistan at 
Khelat during General Roberts’s occupation. The native Ghilzais were apathetic onlookers ” 


193 









5>5 


"OITICERS or THE 9TII LANCERS AT WOOLWICH PLAYING THE NEW GAME OF POLO 1 his exaunt; game, which 
was at first referred to jn the press as * hockey on pomes,’ was introduced into England from the East a year ago by the 10th Hussars and 
the 9th Lancers The rules of the game are precisely those of hockey applied to mounted players A match between two equally 
matched teams uas played on Woolwich Common last Friday in the presence of thousands of spectators, including the Prince Imperial” 







THE RISE OF SPORT 


1875 



THE AMATEUR BICYCLE MATCH AT LILLIE BRIDGE “ On the right hand is Mr H P 
Whiting, who has for more than hie tears been a celebntj in the bic\ cling world The Hon 
Keith-Falconer, on the 'eft hand, hails ftom Trmit\ College, Cambridge, and is a bicichst of great 
reputation • The result of the recent tacc, how e\ er, shou ed that Mr Whiting is much superior 
as a rider The Hon Keith Falconer, being a very tall man, rode a machine with a driving 
wheel of sixty inches diameter, u hile that ridden bv Mr. Whiting measured only fifty-four inches. 
Both men looked in good condition, but neither gives one the idea of a well developed athlete” 


197 


OUR FATHERS 



OF SPORT 



199 


THE NEW WESTWARD HO LADIES’ GOLF CLUB: "Whereas the male golfer goes out armed with from seven to twelve clubs, 
carried for him by a man or boy called a caddie, the golfing ladv carries but one club, a putter, costing 4/6. Great and varied is the interest 

. . 1 f t 111 ,1 * r • 1 » 1 ^ - I -1. i.L„ 




MR. A. J. BALFOUR PLAYS GOLF : “ The Chief Secretary for Ireland, has in recent days 
been playing hard golf on the Links at playling Island with Lord Winchilsca, whose red coat 
and hose, whitish trousers, and soft hat, make him conspicuous on the shore for a long way. 
Mr. Balfour’s tall figure is usually encased in an alpaca jacket and grey knickerbockers. Ide 
plays with doc-gloves and — like most golfers — wears spats. . . . After one golf»game the 
Chief Secretary retired amid the shades of evening to his papers in the hotel, when a Scottish 
M.P. friend treated him from beneath the balcony to a serenade on the bagpipes of his favourite 
Highland music — ‘ The Campbells are Coming.’ The Scottish politician did not disdain to pick 
up the coppers thrown to him by Mr. Balfour’s secretary ” 


zoo 




THE GREAT W G AT A TEST MATCH Dr W G Grace ''after making a score of 6j 
not out) entering the Pavilion for the luncheon interval on the first day during the England v. 
Australia Match at the Oval, where England won by an innings (Hon F S. Jackson 103) 


201 





OUR FATHERS 



202 


THE ANCIENT NATIONAL GAME OF STOOLBALL : “ It is probable that cricket is derived from the woman’s game of Stoolball, 
or * juts,’ now being revived by ladies’ clubs composed of the principal county families in Sussex. Our illustration represents a match recently 
played in Horsham Park, the seat of R. H. Hurst, Esq., between the Horsham Park Eleven and the Foresters, who won by 136 runs. A large 
gathering of the nobility and gentry from the surrounding neighbourhood assembled to witness the progress of the exciting match” 








SOME ENGLISH LAW N TENNIS PLAYERS : Sane critics foretold, a year or two ago, that 
the lawn tennis vogue would soon be on the wane. These prophecies have failed of fulfilment at 
Wimbledon, the number of spectators this year having reached between 2,000 and 3,o!>o on the days 
of greatest interest. Our illustration is of leading lawn tennis celebrities — back: E. de S. H, Browne, 
Rev. J. T. Hartley (Champion 1879, 1880), C. W. Grinstead, Miss Maud Wilson (Lady Champion), 
H. F. Lawford (winner of Wimbledon Gold Prize this year), W. Renshaw (Champion 1881, 1882, 
1883,1884); front: E. Renshaw (winner of Gold Prize, 1882, 1883), and Miss Watson” 

204 




INTENSIVE INVENTION 

What was (and is) electricity? The mid-century theorists held it to be this and 
that in their quest after a definition adapted to a mechanistic universe which their 
science could explain in terms of geometry, chemistry, ballistics and magnetic 
attraction. In 1870 the public knew next to nothing of the invisible force con- 
cerning which Fellows of the Royal Society continued to contradict one another. 
It merely knew that when it went to Brighton Pier, showmen with coils upon 
barrows took tuppence for making it wriggle with tingling current. 

It was forty years since Faraday had discovered that an electric current arose 
when a magnet was thrust in and out of a coil of iron wire. Thus far electric 
induction had given nothing to the man in the street and the woman in the home. 
They used the electric telegraph, but this was as often as not a portent of personal 
disaster — it represented to the family news of death, accident, or urgent illness, 
through an orange envelope to which postmen gave a ritual of urgent ringing and 
knocking. 

A sedate civilisation, gaslit only in parts, in the age of steam and the century of 
invention, believed itself to be racing onward at almost excessive speed; as indeed 
it was by comparison with the England of forty years earlier, when the first trains 
were wonderments. Its many reactionaries fought to the last ditch against the idea 
of an electrified age. While they merely disbelieved in the future of steel ships, 
and only derided the Boneshaker cycles : while Paterfamilias, Lover of Horses and 
Pro Bono Publico contented themselves with letters to the papers protesting 
against the* Jabberwockian road steamers and the inelegant steam trams, electricity 
symbolised to them a headless, menacing ghost which they must exorcise, lest it 
upset the harmony of the best of all possible worlds. 

There was plenty of excuse for resentment by the self-satisfied. Our own age con- 
siders itself the speediest and most fluid ever; but in mechanical invention the last 
thirty years of tlfe nineteenth century surpassed by far the first thirty years of the 
twentieth (although this century’s contribution in scientific thought through bio- 
logical invention is leading us to greater heights) . Edwardians and Georgians have 
seen the introduction of the aeroplane, the dirigible airship, radio transmission and 
the wireless telephone (the cinematograph, like the gliders that preceded aeroplanes, 
appeared during the ’nineties — a film of the Queen driving to St. Paul’s for the 
Diamond Jubilee was publicly shown). The late Victorians had to digest many 
more majt>? inventions that were revolutionary in effect — electric light, electric 
trains and carriages, the dynamo and electric power station, the microphone, the 
telephone, the bicycle, the phonograph and gramophone, the motor car, steel 
ships, submarines, torpedoes, marine turbines, wireless telegraphy, the linotype 


205 



OUR FATHERS 


and monotype, the chilled-meat refrigerator, the machine-gun, the breech-loading 
and ma gazine rifles, the modern field gun, and the mobile long-distance gun. Inno- 
vations like the fountain pen, and the typewriter perfected in the ’eighties by 
Remington, seemed by comparison small fry. Transcending everything new and 
old in terms of importance to humanity were Lister’s applied antiseptics, which 
remedied the state of things whereby every other operation in hospital brought 
death from gangrene, while abdominal operations could be classed among the 
methods of the executioner. Antiseptics and inoculation, arriving in the same 
decade, have saved within fifty years more lives than were destroyed in all the 
wars between Napoleon and Hindenburg. Vet the dear old Lancet (fighting as 
usual in the rearguard of progress) half-heartedly hit out in 1877 at the man who 
gave surgery its greatest benefit: "‘Mr. Lister has acquired the reputation of a 
thoughtful, painstaking surgeon, and has done some service to practical surgery by 
insisting on the importance of cleanliness in the treatment of wounds, although 
this has been done by the glorification of an idea which is neither original nor 
universally accepted.” 

Electrical invention was everywhere welcomed as long as it produced only 
marvels. Late in the 'seventies, a bootmaker in the Edgware Road advertised his 
shop by erecting outside it a huge arc light; and the crowds it drew in circus mood 
were so dense that traffic had to be diverted. The idea that a spectacle, and not a. 
revolution, was being provided remained for some years after Swan and Edison 
separately discovered that a divided carbon thread, lit by electric current in a 
vacuum, would not burn itself out. The electric lamp had arrived; and Aldersgate 
Street Station demonstrated its practical uses before so many sightseers that police 
regulation was needed. His Majesty’s Theatre tried the new lighting, but desisted 
because audiences complained of the thrumming dynamo. 

Two great country houses, Hatfield and Craigside, contested claims to be the 
first private residence with the new light. Lord Salisbury, in the former, had 
earlier tried to instal Jablokhoff arc lights in the dining-room, but lady visitors 
found the glare impossible for eyes and complexions. He now made his estate 
workmen — each new installation needed its own expensive plant — instal Edison- 
Swan lamps. “There were evenings,” writes Lady Gwendolen Cecil in her ex- 
cellent Life of her father, “when the household had to grope about in semi- 
darkness, illuminated only by the dim red glow such as comes frt>m a half-extinct 
fire; there were others when a perilous brilliancy culminated in miniature storms 
of lighting ending in complete collapse. One group of lamps after another would 
blaze and expire in rapid succession, like stars in conflagration, till the rooms were 
left in pitchy blackness . . . One evening a party of guests, on entering the Long 
Gallery after dinner, found the carved panelling near the ceiling bursting into 
flames under the contact of an overheated wire. It was happily a shooting party 
in which young men . . . rose joyfully to the occasion, and with well-directed sofa 
cushions rendered the summoning of a fire engine unnecessary.” 

All this was in 1880. In the two following years electricity changed in public 
esdmation from a wonderment to a god of progress that deserved fear. Padding- 

206 



INTENSIVE INVENTION 


ton, Charing Cross and Liverpool Street Stations adopted the lighting. The 
General Post Office and the House of Commons half-heartedly followed. Liver- 
pool, Bristol and Brighton installed it in the streets. Electric companies were 
formed, the City of London offered its lighting to three of them as an experiment; 
and protest was made to The Times that the City was unsuitable for the experi- 
ment, because it was uninhabited at night and “only the cats and the caretakers 
would enjoy the fun.” Following Edison’s public electric supply station for New 
York in 1881, a similar station was built at Holborn Viaduct. A miniature 
electric railway was demonstrated at the Crystal Palace, after Berlin had set the 
example. Electric trams on live rails came into being, and stimulated inventors 
to prepare the safer tramway, operated by current from overhead wires, which 
Kansas City introduced in 1884 but London did not copy until 1891. 

An electrical Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1882 promoted enterprise on 
the one hand and reaction on the other. It set young England to learning about 
volts, amperes, and how to rig up an electric bell that would startle the maids in 
the kitchen. It was visited by representatives from all the town corporations — 
Birmingham, East London, Sheffield, Godaiming and others — that followed Liver- 
pool’s lead in street-lighting. It helped to promote more electricity companies; and 
these in their turn promoted fear of monopolies. Vested interests in gas lighting, 
helped by timid politicians, persuaded Mr. Gladstone’s government to pass an 
Electric Lighting Bill that gave local authorities power to buy out private supply 
companies after twenty-one years. English business ardour in electricity was 
dampened, and America was left unchallenged at the head of electrical develop- 
ment. This official brake was kept clamped for six years, after which the Act was 
amended and electrical enterprise became profitable. New methods of storage and 
generation then enabled companies to provide house-to-house current. By the 
middle of the ’nineties, every important town in England and Scotland — and for 
that matter, in the United States and Western Europe — had electrical current. 
At the century’s end electric trams and trains were abundant: the “Tuppenny 
Tube” had been bored underground from Marble Arch to the Bank; and bigger 
and better dynamos were electrifying factory plant. 

The establishment of the telephone was almost as difficult. The first exchange 
having come to London in 1879, with lines run from the Temple to the Law 
Courts in Westminster, everybody from office boys to Law Lords hurried to use 
them. (Salisbury was again early in the field with private experiments at Hatfield, 
on primitive apparatus which necessitated simple phrases. I quote from Lady 
Gwendolen Cecil again: “Visitors were startled by hearing Lord Salisbury's voice 
resounding oratorically from selected spots within and without the house, as he 
reiterated with varying emphasis, ‘Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the 
cow jumped over the moon’”). In the provinces the smaller area of towns made 
wiring easief. Pro Bono Publico and the rest, reinforced by many aldermen, 
forthwith blew off warnings about the dangers from a network of overhead wires. 
It was further held that the telephone might supplant the government-owned 
telegraph — in 1880 the Post Office assailed the Edison Telegraph Company with 


207 



1 879 


OUR FATHERS 



208 



INTENSIVE INVENTION 


an action for infringement of monopoly. The invention continued diffidently for 
a while. The first long-distance line (from London to Brighton) was little 
used. The G.P.O. promoted a service of its own, and local exchanges were univer- 
sally adopted; but Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham were not linked to 
London until 1890; and in 1900 telephone lines to the Continent were still a hope 
for the future. 

The cause of the motor car suffered most in England from Sleepy Hollow 
reactionaries. A tricycle driven by an internal combustion engine, with benzoline 
vapour exploded by an electric spark inside its one cylinder, was built in London 
in 1885, when Gottlieb Daimler and others in France had already begun to use 
internal combustion for “horseless carriages.” It was at once ruled that the new 
tricycles and the newer auto-carriage came under an Act of 1865, whereby vehicles 
dependent upon engines had been forbidden a speed of more than four miles an 
hour, and must be preceded by a man carrying a red flag to warn drivers of horses. 
England’s hands were tied for ten years by this kind of crassness, while France 
and Germany developed the motor car. The first automobile race, between Paris 
and Rouen, was hardly mentioned by the English press except as a matter for 
ridicule. Even when the fantastic restriction was removed in 1896, early motor 
cars were jeered at, abused for the dust they raised and the horses they terrified, 
and condemned for their danger. Drivers were said to be daring fools who were 
certain of death if they kept to their rash hobby: and in the procession of cars 
from London to Brighton, to celebrate the end of the red-flag law, each of the high, 
blunt contraptions that broke down met hoots of laughter and dislike. As a 
result of all this, France was allowed to dominate the market in motor cars until 
well into the twentieth century. 

The century ended with four more inventions, or applied discoveries, of great 
importance. Wireless telegraphy arrived; and England, who this time showed 
administrative foresight, welcomed and encouraged Marconi’s system. The first 
wireless despatch was received across the Channel in 1899, the big wireless station 
at Poldhu in Cornwall was built a year later, and in 1901 it managed to exchange 
signals across the Atlantic. The Hon. C. A. Parsons, at about the same time, 
invented a completely new method of steam propulsion with his turbine motor, 
which was to find its way into most ships. Rontgen’s experiments with so-called 
X-rays were altering the popular conceptions of matter, and causing speculation 
in medical science. Finally, though aeroplanes as now understood did not enter 
the century, the gliders of Langley and others forecast them. The theory of how 
plane surfaces behave in the air, as applied later to heavier-than-air flying machines, 
was evolved before Pilcher and Lilienthal killed themselves in their gliding experi- 
ments of 1899. Dirigible airships and wireless telephony were also forecast. Radio 
broadcasting, embryonic television and insulin are the only first-class discoveries 
in applied sdfence thus far owned entirely by the twentieth century. 


209 







A THOMSON ROAD STEAMER AT EDINBURGH. This steamer, with wheels hound 
round to a depth of five inches with an indiarubber tyre, was invented in 1868 for hauling loaded 
waggons above sharp inclines, “ to the intense disgust of coachmen, and to the terror of nervous 
invalids in carriages.” In 1870 it was adapted as tractor for an omnibus, “a handsome and 
commodious vehicle, with only two wheels, built to carry 65 passengers — 20 inside and 44 out” 



“ THE NEW ELECTRIC RAILWAY : Ever since the early days of electrical science the aim 
has been to utilise the enormous new force. Following the construction of dynamomagnetic 
machines for light has come locomotion by electricity. The railway now exhibited at the 
Crystal Palace is circular and about 300 yards long. The engine draws three carriages, contain- 
ing 18 passengers, at 10 miles per hour” 


210 





TIIC PHONOGRAPH COMES TO LONDON! « j , 

srissraatSS,* 

-» - saSffl at-sssair.^- 


2rr 



OUR FATHERS 



“THE NEW 12-INCH GUN OF THE HOTSPUR’ with its beautiful machinery gun- 
carriage. By very simple but powerful mechanism, compressed into a very small space, this 25 ton 
gun can be readily moved upwards or downwards or sideways, and motion can be instantly 
artested in any of these several directions notwithstanding the most boisterous heave of the sea ” 


1887 



STANLEY TESTS THE NEW MAX 1 M GUN: “ The American inventor Mr. H. Maxim has 
produced a new machine-gun, fitted with a tempered-steel shield as a protection agair,s{ arrows. 
Two men can carry the whole apparatus : the gun with its pivot weighs 56 lbs., the tripod weighs 
another 50 lbs. Each Martini-Henry cartridge costs iid., and the gun will fire 666 shots in a 
minute. The explorer, Mr. H. M. Stanley, visited Dulwich to examine the gun, and after firing 
333 shots in half a minute said ‘ it is a fine weapon, and will be invaluable for subduing the heathen ’ ” 


212 


INTENSIVE INVENTION 

1875 



A FATAL BALLOON ASCENT IN FRANCE “ Thermometers barometers, Davy lamps, 
respirator} apparatuses and much else was in the car of the ‘ Zernth,’ which rose to a height of over 
five miles, after M Croce Spinelli had thrown out an instrument called the Aspirateur ,’ weighing 
80 pounds The consequent much too rapid ascent caused the death of tw o of the three balloonists ” 


1885 



THE TRIAT OF THE NORDENFELT SUBMAR1NL Li er since the American Civil 
War bloclftde, naval engineers have been trying to soIvl the ptoblem of submarine navigation. 
Mr Notdenfelt’s invention appears to fulfil requirements The boat is of steel, with a glass 
conning tower in the centre The motive power is steam and when above water the fires can 
be stoked When the boat sinks the fires are scaled and resen e high pressure steam is used 
With this the boat was dmen for fit e hours at 5 m p h , her speed on the surface being 8 knots ’ 


aij 




UUK EAlHiiKS 


1872 



AN 8-MAN-POWER DIRIGIBLE During the Siege of Pans m 1 870 an engineer named Dupuy 
de Lome constructed a balloon w ith steering powers, after many ordinary balloons had been 
captured bs the Prussians He demonstrated it amid half a gale of wind, and the “ dirigible ” 
was allowed, by its rudder, a deviation of up to Z2 degrees from the course of the ait-current 
The propeller, turned by four men, drove the balloon five miles an hour quicker than the rate 
of wind. His next model, shown here flying over Pans, had an 8-man-power steam engine 


214 





INTENSIVE INVENTION 



THE PUBLIC' TRIAL Or CAPTAIN DICL\ S NTW TWIN C1I \NNEL SILVUSHIP 
“ The * Castalia ’ is formed of tv o separate hulls bridged over by one deck, the soace between being 
occupied by the paddle wheels One hull is expected to act as an outrigger to the other and thus 
neutralise the rolling of the u aves The journey from Dover to Calais took one hour fifty minutes ” 


215 



“OUR NAVY, NEW STYLE— THE ‘INFLEXIBLE’: This originally conceived monitor 
is 320 feet long, with an armour plating 16 to 24 inches, and a backing of from 17 to 25 inches 
thick. Her armament is four 81 ton guns. Although called an unrigged ironclad the ‘ Inflexible’ 
has masts and sails, but these are more ornamental than useful, and this latest addition to our 
Navy depends wholly on her engines, developing 8,000 horse-power to give a speed of 14 knots’ 

216 





THE NEW RUSSIAN CIRCULAR IRONCLAD ‘ POPOFFKA NOVGOROD ’ : “ The chief 
advantage of the circular form (designed by Vice-Admiral A. A. Popoff) is that owing to tHe 
greater displacement in comparison with the weight of hull, it enables vessels thus built to earn' 
heavier armour and weightier guns. The armour plates arc 9 inches thick, and are ‘ backed ’ 
with Channel iron to the amount of two inches. The guns, two in number, arc 11 inch bore” 


1890 



“ THE DECK OF A FIRST-CLASS BATTLESHIP : An engraving from a photograph of 
H.M.S. ‘Benbow,’ rated at 10,000 tons and 11,500 horse-power. The photograph was taken 
looking down on the vessel, from a mast 120 feet high, alongside the dockyard at Malta” 


217 






ELECTRIC LIGHT REACIIFS THE HOME ‘ The magnificent suite of rooms of the 
Domestic 1 ighting section at the Cnstal Pihcc Flectrical Exhibition are lighted by Mr Edison’s 
newest lamps \ striking feature is a bronze bird holding the lamp m his mouth, which can be 
rao-v ed to an\ part of the room in the same manner as an oil lamp These lights can be turned 
on and off as easily as gas Insurance Companies have given notice to raise the already high 
terms of insurance to £$ 13 6 per cent or account of the introduction of electric light” 






INTENSIVE INVENTION 



AN EXHIBITION OF PERISHABLE COFITNS Ar STAFFORD IIOLSF. “ Mr. Seymour 
Hadcn’s coffins are of wicker, with their meshes filled only b\ mosses, willows, fragrant shrubs 
and evergreens. Accompanj ing each of them is a nanow leaden band or ribbon, pierced with name 
and date of death, to be passed round the chest and lower limbs, for identifying the bones” 



AN ARTIFICIAL FOS JTER-MO IHER “ The new baby-incubator in the Berlin Exhibition 
is a great attraction to the medical profession and to ladies The babies exhibited would not 
be living but for the invention. They are kept alive in warm temperatures, are nourished 
b> drops of milk that fall into their mouths They seem not to see or hear but merely to exist ” 


219 




OLR FATHERS 


1874 



THE GREAT BICYCLING RACE FROM BATH TO LONDON This contest was for 
the captaincy and sub-captaincy of the Middlesex Bicycle Club There were eight competitors 
The time made by the winner is one hour less than the fastest stag<- coach on record, and is also 
the best bicycle travelling, the pace exceeding 10- miles an hou inclusive of stoppages ” 


1895 



THE “ MILORD ” PHAETON (STEAM) “ The inventors of automobiles have at last 
succeeded in producing in this steam-driven phaeton a horseless vehicle which is a smart turnout’' 


220 



INTENSIVE INVENTION 


i»95 



A FOUR-WHEELED GIG (PETROLEUM) “ This elegant vehicle can be driven at a high 
rate of speed — fifteen miles an hour on the flat and as much as four miles an hour uphill ” 

I8 99 



PRELUDE fO THE AEROPLANE : “The principle of Mr. Pilcher’s gliding machine, in 
which the unfortunate aeronaut recently came to grief, was that of the kite. The idea was that 
the wings or aeroplanes of the gliding machine would keep its body, together with the weight 
of the experimenter, suspended by the pressure of the velocity in a forward direction. He 
had gradually increased its sire, and had added a * tail ’ by which he hoped to be able to steer ” 


zzi 


OUR FATHERS 


1878 


A tree cutting machine 
invented in 1 S7-, con 
sisting of a steam 
C) limit r pitoted on a 
cast iron bed phte, and 
having a long stroke 
which put a saw in 
motion fhe steam w as 
supplied fiom a portable 
boiler through a flexible 
rube, \\ hich admitted 
enough steam into the 
cvhnder to serve as a 
cushion for the piston 
Mr. Gladstone and his 
son, both of them cat 
ters, watened a trial of 
the machine at Tulse 
Hill, and the former es 
pert wood cutters made 
a speech in praise < f it 
stating that the machine 
did as much woik in 
one minute as a man 
could do in one hout 



MR GLADblONLW 'UCIIEb VMLClInMCAl TREE TELLFR 


1880 



THE WOODCUTTER Ob HAW ARDEN “Mr Gladstone has acquired a worldwide 

reputation not only as Statesman but also as Woodcutter There can be little doubt that had he 
been bom m a humbler sphere of life and settled in the American backwoods or the Australian 
bush, he would have held his own w ith the axe against all competitors, however redoubtable 


222 


MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 


It is a theory (the degree of its exactitude does not matter here) that a man’s 
mental tastes become set during his early twenties; say between twenty-one and 
twenty-six. The period is one in which callowness is left behind, loyalty and 
prejudice grow fervent, emotional contacts are vivid, attitudes are enjoyed; the 
time that ever seeks recapture through its songs, poems and survived friendships. 

Our Bronze Age statecraft, in which the elders give counsel based on tribal 
balance, allots to Cabinet Ministers an average of something over sixty years. 
Subtract the years between, and they travel back into the mental-fixations of their 
early twenties— back, in the case of the oldest, to Gladstone's great period in the 
’eighties. The younger ones, juniors approaching sixty, would revert to 1S92 or 
1893, when the Grand Old Man had his last fling at uplifting civilisation with 
plainsong platitude. 

Let me force a parallel between then and now. Politics in the early ’nineties 
clung to the moral altruism of the ’eighties for longer than the social structure did. 
They had acquired a habit of unselfishness at the expense of the moderate citizen. 
Mr. Gladstone’s final administration was a minority one; it derived from the 
largest single party, but owed its life to support from the Nationalists. Trade was 
bad, investments fell, unemployment rose. Despite increased income tax, shrunken 
revenue brought a budget deficit for 1893; and in the same year Australian credit 
failed. Outside Parliament there was talk of a revenue tariff, which would also 
give England the fiscal protection taken by France, Germany, the United States 
and Canada. Labotir was ready with votes in return for concessions. Instead 
of Dominion Status for India, the problem then was Home Rule for Ireland. 

I admit that the parallel could not extend. Nor do I mean to imply that 
British politics are modelled, in a more frantic era, on those that served when 
hansoms and bicycles filled the streets. But I do believe that our elder statesmen 
still have an outlook conditioned by the glamour which Gladstone, himself grown 
antiquated in affairs, kept beyond the grave after bestriding England for twenty- 
five years. In consequence, they do at the wrong time what their Gladstone- 
coloured youth tells them is right. When prosperity returned in the ’nineties, its 
new broom in statesmanship was the energetic realist named Joseph Chamberlain. 
Meanwhile, to-day’s fixations in political idealism tempt one to facile reversal of a 
proverb — if youth but could, if age but knew. 

Gladstone*, half Scotsman though he was, seems from our perspective to have 
embodied the warp and woof of an English half-century more completely than 
any earlier statesman could do. He was the nation’s most popular personage 
because his fiery sense of Mission burned into the mass-mind his personification 

22; 



OUR FATHERS 


of middle-class rectitude, moral progress and gloriously earnest humbug Disraeli’s 
vision was of an Imperial England — a less t) rannical Rome, the Israel that ought 
to have been — manoeuvred into leadership through the brain and judgment given 
by a stooping old minister to a prim, steadfast little queen. He could stir the nation 
with ideas of profitable might and righteous grandeur But a people that dis- 
trusted all genius, especially its own, never staged exalted for long by foreign 
glitter; always it returned by instinct by the Grand Old Moralist who was Itself 
in giant proportions. The Continent, when it recalls England in the ’seventies, 
thinks first of Disraeli. At home, the only catchword that survives is “What did 
Mr. Gladstone say in 1878 5 ” 

Gladstone, in 1870, was in power after winning the first election operated 
through Disraeli’s suffrage reform of “one household, one vote,” the measure which 
had been intended to “dish the Whigs” through Tory democracy. The Liberals 
replied with the yet more democratic gift (Forster’s Act) of free education Mr. 
Gladstone’s immense energy was then able to concentrate on the pacification of 
Ireland, a Mission he felt so strongly that he had noted in his diary “The 
Almighty seems to sustain and spare me for some purpose of His own, deeply 
unworthy as I know myself to be. Glory be to His name'” 

Disraeli, now as always, knew how to wait. He was tired and ill, and his Mary 
Anne was nearing death from cancer (“Being on my back, pardon the 
pencil . . . Grosvenor Gate has become a hospital, but a hospital with you is worth 
a palace with anybody else Your own D.”) Between spasms he went to the 
Commons and, without much fire, taunted Gladstone in that Ireland, refusing to 
be pacified by a string of laws and the mission from a Liberal chieftain’s personal 
Almighty, had doubled her stabbings, clubbings and arson 

When Disraeli’s wife died, in 1872, the nation was moved to the point of taking 
to its heart, for the first time, the stricken figure whose brilliance, dandyism, 
novel-writing, and Oriental mystery-mongering it had mistrusted through thirty 
years. All that was now overlaid by sympathy for a famous 3 man whose private 
life had been lived in public His new popularity coincided with Gladstone’s Irish 
failure, and the lessening of British prestige abroad through weak arbitration. 
Disraeli used action to forget sorrow. He prepared for an election by founding 
the Conservative Central Office, which organised Conservative associations in 
every constituency. The poll in 1874 gave him not only a majority of fifty over 
all other parties, but also the title of “The Chief,” even from old Tories who 
hitherto had suspected his dazzle. Nobody was better pleased than the Queen. 
Beyond all others, not excepting Peel and Melbourne in far-off days, he was her 
favourite Premier and collaborator He humoured, stimulated, cajoled and amused 
her, took the same wide view in foreign affairs, and in home affairs lespected her 
prejudices as being those of the average worthy citizen Gladstone had shown 
irreproachable regard foi the Throne, but would not let her opinions Bend his stub- 
bornly divine afflatus No royal tears were shed when, after defeat, he told her 
of his resignation from Liberal leadership. 

Disraeli, first of all, took more wind from the Liberal sails by “pacifying” Ireland 


224 



MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 


with a Coercion Act that was generously interpreted, and by continuing his demo- 
cratic Toryism. He recognised and approved the Trades Unions, reduced working 
hours, sponsored the Saturday half-holiday, improved the national sanitation. But 
the vision of Empire would not be still. He had within him schemes for an 
Imperial Parliament in London, linked with Colonial autonomy and a tariff 
plan that was not unlike Empire Free Trade. He knew these ideas to be in 
advance of the time, but they stimulated his decision when, to safeguard Imperial 
communications, he took the big risk of buying, without Parliamentary sanction, 
the Khedive’s shares in the Suez Canal. Again letting the Imperial dream over- 
ride opportunism, he agreed to the Queen’s demand, at an unpropitious time, for 
the title of Empress of India. He had foreseen the public ridicule of his Oriental- 
ism, which came when the title was announced. “Dizzi-ben Dizzi, the Orphan of 
Bagdad, or How Little Ben, the Innkeeper, Changed the Sign of the Queen’s Inn 
to the Empress Hotel Limited.” 

Ill, and afflicted by dreams he was too aged to fulfil, he moved as Earl of 
Beaconsfield from the Commons to the less exacting Lords. “Earl!” was Mr. Glad- 
stone’s comment from Hawarden, “I cannot forgive him for not having made him- 
self a Duke!” And later, when Disraeli was suspected of a desire to annex Egypt, 
the other old man suggested that the Earl might wish to become Duke of Memphis. 

Politics became more and more an enthralling duel between the two ancients, 
whose only similarity was great mental stature. Disraeli could not allow a Russian 
expansion on the Mediterranean, which would threaten the way to India and 
Australia; and Gladstone, unable to stay retired while his rival let the infidel Turk 
. embroil England with Christian countries, launched his thunderous pamphlet 
against Turkish atrocities. Disraeli referred to him as “Tartuffe” and “that extra- 
ordinary mixture of envy, vindictiveness, hypocrisy and superstition . . . whether 
preaching or praying, speechifying or scribbling — never a gentleman.” 

The venom grew when Russia declared war on Turkey. The Queen tried to 
prod into unpopular war against Russia a Cabinet containing Lord Derby and 
others who wanted neutrality. Disraeli again bided his time, which came when 
the Russian advance was checked at Plevna, with huge slaughter. English 
sentiment swung round to the brave Turks; English crowds stoned Gladstone’s 
windows. “We don’t want to fight, but by Jingo if we do . . . The Russian shall 
not have Constantinople.” The great Jew had used national pride to cure an attack 
of national conscience. 

Plevna fell. The Russians all but had Constantinople. Public opinion was 
again ready to rebound against war. Harried by divided counsel, and also by 
gout, asthma, bronchitis and Bright’s disease, the old man took refuge in splendid 
bluff. Denouncing the Russo-Turkey treaty as a danger to Britain, he called up 
reserves, sent the Fleet in the direction of Constantinople, and staged an arrival of 
troops from India. Russia took fright and agreed to all Disraeli’s preliminary con- 
ditions for a treaty revision by the Berlin Congress. 

Disraeli, at the Congress, pleased England by playing the role of Mr. Standfast, 
browbeating the Russians and manoeuvring even Bismarck into support of the 

“5 



OUR FATHERS 


British terms. The day after his demands were conceded, he announced that 
Turkey had secredy given (Apr js to England. The nation went frantic with 
satisfaction, Mr. Gladstone was frantic with spieen. Five dukes were among the 
Committee that welcomed the Earl of Beaconsfield, and his “Peace with Honour,” 
back from Berlin at Charing Cross. Mr. Gladstone, this time, was not amused 
when he heard that the Queen had given his rival the Order of the Garter. 

A general election after the Berlin Congress would have given Disraeli and the 
Tories six more years in office. The sick Premier was disinclined to expend the 
energy; and a year later Mr. Gladstone girded up evangelistic loins for his greatest 
crusade. Poor harvests, a fall in trade, rash annexation of the Transs aal. and the 
massacre of a British mission in Afghanistan combined to bring a reaction against 
Imperialism. Gladstone went on the moral rampage m his Midlothian campaign. 
Lending his wonderful, cavernous voice to the sonorities of prophecy (reported at 
tremendous length in all the newspapers^ he cons meed England and Scotland that 
they had followed false gods, or rather an anti-God. The electorate of iSSo, chilled 
by bad times but warmed b\ Gladstone's flaming oratory, went overwhelmingly 
Liberal, fin this, the last election before reform of the County franchise, Gladstone 
did not scruple to use “faggot votes" as a counter against Tory strength from 
“pocket boroughs,” one of which returned Mr. Balfour with a poll of onh 700. Of 
Gladstone’s majority of 219 in Midlothian, 160 householder's votes were got by 
running up new houses in the Edinburgh district, with crowds cheering on the 
night work beneath flares.) 

Disraeli retired, without rancour, to his books and memories, his doctors, his 
friendship with the Queen and others; and so to his serene death and primrose 
apotheosis. With the end of the twenty years’ duel between great antagonists, 
politics seemed humdrum for a while. 

The 1880’s were left to Mr. Gladstone as his Promised Land. He had become 
the Grand Old Man; the Premiership was his by popular demand, despite his 
earlier resignation from Liberal leadership. Jericho having fallen before his ‘blasts, 
he set out to build a new Jerusalem, which was to be compulsorily educated. 
But new swarms of Moabites, Jebusites, Philistines and the rest arrived to harry 
the Lord’s Self-Anointed. 

Joseph Chamberlain, his President of the Board of Trade (then a youngish, 
very energetic business man who had organised the Liberal pirty machine on 
democratic lines) was distrusted as a Radical demagogue who would end by 
destroying the House of Commons. Other Liberals split over the conscience of 
Charles Bradlaugh when that Radical atheist declined the Parliamentary oath. 
The Grand Old One supported an Affirmation Act to ease this troublesome con- 
science, but the Act was thrown out as ruthlessly as was Charles Bradlaugh 
himself when he cynically recanted and tried to enter the House. And on the 
Liberal flank a silent, portentous, obstructive figure — Parnell, now leader of the 
Irish Nationalists — supported the Irish Land League’s boycott against" landlords, 
and did not condemn the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which organised arson 
and assassination. The Gladstone ministry, within a year of taking office, was 

226 



MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 


forced by public opinion to clap into gaol Parnell and other Nationalist members, 
whose unarrested fellows made Parliamentary scenes that caused them to be 
carried shrieking out of the House. 

Most impudent of all in annoying the Colossus on the Treasury Bench was 
Randolph Churchill’s youthful Fourth Party, flying far beyond the inept Conserva- 
tive opposition in the Commons, thrusting gadfly stings wherever they would hurt 
most. No amount of Gladstonian denunciation could hinder this Tory Left 
Wing. Lord Randolph had a devilish talent for “drawing" Gladstone, whether 
on Irish Coercion, the Bradlaugh affair, foreign imbroglios, or measures of reform 
like the Employers’ Liability Bill or the Franchise and Redistribution Bills. 

It was foreign affairs, always Mr. Gladstone’s bugbear, that bent his infallibility. 
He prosecuted with eloquence and energy any policy which he had at heart, and 
his prestige was so great that policy derived from his personal inclinations. Since 
the Irish troubles interested him profoundly, he devoted to them a watchful finesse. 
A settlement of sorts might have been reached following the understanding that 
preceded Parnell's release from prison; and nobody could have been firmer when 
the chances of settlement were ruined by the assassination in Phoenix Park of Lord 
Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke. But through his half-heartedness over most 
foreign problems that had no relation to T urkish atrocities, he permitted England 
to drift into disaster abroad. The Grand Old Fulminator had more personal 
interest in appointments to bishoprics than in the Transvaal, which provided the 
first of many irritants from overseas. The Boers would have none of his South 
African Federation, and a burgher army defeated the British at Majuba Hill. 
Liberals were relieved when President Kruger signed the Convention which gave 
England a nominal suzerainty; but the nation in general was left with a heretic 
doubt as to whether its high priest was as nearly immaculate as electors had 
thought. 

Next, Egypt, where Wolseley’s defeat of Arabi Pasha thrilled the country, 
and ifispired even Gladstone, since Christians had been saved from massacre. So 
far, so good; like Disraeli, he had brought peace with honour. His disinterest in 
Egypt as a country then led to damaging irresolution. Wolseley’s army was to 
have been withdrawn, when Liberals revived Gladstone's missionary zeal with 
highly coloured reports of the slave trade between Upper Egypt and the Soudan. 
The newly arisdi Mahdi reinforced the slavery motive by destroying Hicks Pasha’s 
Egyptian force in the Soudan. Public outcry clamoured for suppression of slavery 
and the Mahdi; and under the banner of humanitarianism Mr. Gladstone entered 
upon a Disraelian adventure. 

He did not advance it with anything like Disraelian resolution. It was against 
the advice of the British Agent in Cairo that, prodded by the press, he sent 
General Gordon to Khartoum. Gordon’s own vacillations between withdrawal 
from the Sdudan and an intention to “smash the Mahdi” were forgotten when 
the country suddenly realised the grave peril to a national hero; realised, more- 
over, that though Wolseley and the War Office had been preparing for a campaign, 
the Prime Minister had waited until it was too late to recall Gordon, and possibly 


Z27 



OUR FATHERS 


too late to save him. England was breathless, Gladstone’s Ireland was forgotten, 
while Wolseley’s difficult expedition moved up the Nile. The whole nation was 
furious when it had the news of Gordon’s death, two days before British steamers 
sighted Khartoum. The Queen’s unciphered telegram of rebuke to the govern- 
ment expressed what millions were feeling. A vote of censure, supported by all 
Conservatives and many Liberals, was defeated by only fourteen votes. Tories 
spread word that Gladstone was the Terrible Old Man who would ruin the 
Empire; and the nation, disliking the increase of income tax to the frightening 
figure of eightpence in the pound, so as to pay for the Soudan war, was inclined 
to think they were right. 

The Ministry survived long enough for Gladstone to regain prestige by standing 
firm against Russian aggression in Afghanistan. Under cover of this new threat 
of war he quietly withdrew from the Soudan. Then, deliberately permitting a 
defeat in the House of Commons on an amendment to the Budget, he resigned. 
This party move threw upon Lord Salisbury’s “Cabinet of Caretakers” the onus 
of grappling, while the new County franchise was being prepared, with distress 
and unemployment, and with Irish dynamite outrages. The Fourth Party came 
into its own, when places in the ministry were found for Randolph Churchill, 
Michael Hicks-Beach and Arthur Balfour. 

. Gladstone’s personality was still potent enough to give him a majority over Lord 
Salisbury’s Conservatives; but Parnell’s Nationalist vote held the balance. Glad- 
stone, Premier for the third time, again nailed to the Liberal masthead his personal 
obsession for Home Rule; and on this the Liberals split. Chamberlain, Lord 
Hartington and John Bright combined with Conservatives to reject his Bill. Glad- 
stone, amid violent embitterments, sprang an unwanted election upon the country, 
which showed its resentment by making the Conservatives the strongest single 
party, with Chamberlain and seventy-four “Liberal Unionists” hesitant on their 
flank. Bargainings behind closed doors, and over the cigars after dinner (it was 
thought remarkable that Birmingham Radicals should be invited to dine' with 
Tory dukes) prepared the ground for the entry of Goschen, a Liberal Unionist, 
into Lord Salisbury’s Cabinet as Chancellor of the Exchequer when Randolph 
Churchill resigned this office in a fit of pique. With a Prime Minister in the 
Lords, the Commons were led by W. H. Smith (former head of the big firm of 
newsagents) as First Lord of the' Treasury — “Old Morality,” whdse sterling char- 
acteristics -were everywhere respected. 

Gladstone, aged seventy-six, stayed in politics only because of the Irish Mission 
from his Lord. Meanwhile Ireland was given a new Coercion Bill, firmly ad- 
ministered by “Bloody Balfour” as Chief Secretary. The Conservative Government 
drew tactical advantage from the publication by The Times of letters pretending 
to show that Parnell had approved one of the Phoenix Park murders. The Com- 
mission of Judges before whom the matter was examined sat so long that the final 
dramatic proof of forgery of the letters reinstated Parnell too late. Not long 
after, the English conscience removed him from effective influence when he was 
named co-respondent in the O’Shea divorce suit. 



MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 


A novel element and agitation had now entered politics. Unemployed riots had 
been followed by a strong Labour movement, to which Salisbury, influenced by 
Randolph Churchill and Chamberlain, played up by fostering Factory Acts; but 
his manner remained that of the seigneur conferring a boon instead of a right, and 
working men felt that Tories were Tories for all that. By backing up a Liberal 
programme that flirted with an eight-hour day, they made possible the return of 
Gladstone in the elections of 1892. They also managed to elect Keir Hardie and 
John Burns as the first purely Labour members. 

At eighty-two Mr. Gladstone still had surprising vigour — some opponents 
attributed it to demoniac possession. But the nation, including the Liberal part 
of it, was becoming bored by Home Rule (much of it, in the early ’nineties of the 
golf craze and Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay, was also bored by politics). Though the 
second Home Rule Bill passed to order in the House of Commons, the House of 
Lords, heartened by Ulster’s violent protest against separation, threw it out neck 
and crop. Little enthusiasm met Gladstone’s attempt to stir up indignation with 
the Lords (including sixty-eight peers of his own creation) who had thwarted 
him; and Home Rule was left prostrate for ten years. The Grand Old ’Un kept 
election pledges by introducing the Employers Liability and Parish Council Bills; 
and then ended fifty years of public service. He slipped quietly out of the House, 
and handed his resignation to the Queen. She showed a few seconds of emotion, 
but recovered and — in Gladstone’s own words— “thanked me for a service of no 
great merit, in the matter of the Duke of Coburg.” This time he never returned 
into the politics that had passed outside his formula for them. 

Discord followed the Queen’s choice of Lord Rosebery as Prime Minister, and 
a divided government lasting eighteen months was notable solely for the fact 
that Rosebery was the only Premier to win the Derby during office; after which 
the Liberals could never be sure of Church and Nonconformist votes while he 
remained their leader. The ministry fell on an Army Estimate vote, and Salisbury 
combined with Chamberlain to form a Coalition of Conservatives and Unionists. 
The General Election in 1896 gave them a huge majority over other parties. They 
had a clear field and favourable omens. Trade and dividends were good, unem- 
ployment had almost vanished, the Colonies and Dependencies were prospering. 
The political opposition was ineffective. At home only the Trades Unions, with 
their increasing *use of the strike weapon, seemed a danger to stability. The 
Workmens Compensation Act and a few lesser measures were enough, with 
encouragement of sport, to keep labour at large sweet-tempered. 

Such trouble as there was loomed from the “Dark Continent,” of which Salis- 
bury said, “Africa was created to be the plague of the Foreign Office.” The new 
Imperialism was a business one that reinforced the maxim of trade following 
the flag with a determination that the flag must follow trade. Joseph Chamber- 
lain, its prophet, was the man of the period, although Balfour was Salisbury’s 
deputy as leader of the Commons. The surprise that Chamberlain should have 
chosen to be Colonial Secretary, which till then had not been among the highest 
Cabinet ranks," was evidence that he saw clearer than others what was to be the 

229 




MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 


best saddle for riding to popularity on coining storms. Opportunity gave him 
much through the Transvaal, now disgorging millions in gold under the baleful 
eye of an old Boer president. It was a problem exactly suited to Chamberlain’s 
genius for seeing the intricate clearly, and then planning secretive means for 
mastering it. His luck from circumstance held to the end. It gave him Cecil 
Rhodes for the large-minded organiser on the spot. Kruger’s bovine tyrannies 
were invaluable in stirring up patriotism; and even the premature squib from the 
Jameson Raid, ending in the police court and a Select Committee’s rebuke to 
Rhodes, was useful in lighting up Boer oppression to the British public. Finally, 
Kitchener’s victories in the Soudan fostered the aggressive spirit necessary to make 
the nation accept a costly war. The headlines and headiness provoked by success 
in arms acted like yeast to swell the maturing plans of Chamberlain in England 
and the renewed domination of Rhodes in South Africa, so that even a majority 
of Liberals concurred when the Boer War happened. 

With Chamberlain and the Transvaal the man and the situation were as 
well mated as any conjunction in English history. He applied his opportunities 
without mistake, until the British defeats of Black December in 1899 revealed a 
heavy under-estimate of the Boers’ fighting strength. The energetic remedies 
which he at once applied made him “Joe” to the nation, and kept him firm on 
the storm’s saddle. Like Disraeli before him, the furthest-sighted statesman of the 
’nineties put Empire before England, even to the length of urging at the Diamond 
Jubilee an Empire tariff policy. He fulfilled in the new century nearly all that he 
had planned, but missed the Premiership by dying too soon. 

The chapter should end, as it began, with Mr. Gladstone. A greater person- 
ality than Salisbury or Chamberlain, he lingered like the last mammoth in a world 
that thought him extinct, and emerged from dim retirement once only, to trumpet 
from the past: “Turkish atrocities!” His death in 1898, after calm untouched by 
party rancour, drew from racial instinct a glamour that has not yet faded. The fine 
head, ‘with eyes fl»shing from deep-set sockets, the lined-parchment skin, the 
mountainous throat behind tall collars or Mrs. Gladstone’s woollen comforters, 
were fixed in the national memory without need of portraiture. The honours 
given to his corpse — a lying-in-state at Westminster, and attendance by all Europe 
(except Turkey) at the funeral in which a Prince of Wales and a Duke of York 
served as pall-b8arers — were beyond Disraeli’s Garter. And the lofty sentiments 
that came from everywhere to Downing Street and Hawarden were echoes from 
a century that still loved without desire its fqrmer loftiness, of which he was the 
fountain. 



OUR FATHERS 



“ PEACE WITH HONOUR ” : Disraeli’s triumphant return after signing the Treaty of Berlin 
1877 



THE LORD CHANCELLOR READING THE QUEEN’S SPEECH at the Opening of 
Parliament, prior to the induction of the Prime Minister as first Earl of Eeaconsfield 


232 




ADDRESSING THE TREE AND INDEPENDENT ELECTORS IN LEWISHAM “ In 
spite of the chatter about progress and enlightenment the mass of the community regard the 
struggles of the rit al politicians as a source of pleasurable excitement When, however, the fun 
takes the form of an organised gang sweeping through the audience and using bludgeons, as at 
I ew isham, it is the re\ erse of pleasurable 1 he Radicals are the gtcatest sinners in this respect ” 


*33 






DISRAELI’S TAFRir QUErN Her Majesty s visit to Mr Disraeli at Ilughcnden has 
caused a considerable stir, for no Prime Minister has been similarly honoured since Queen Victoria 
visited Sir Robert Peel in 1 843 ‘ There are,* says The Times, * some wise persons at home and 

more abroad who will see in the trip an event pregnant with portentous meaning * ” 


0 


234 



MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 



NOT HER FAVOURITE PREMIER. Queen Victoria reservedly offering her hand to Mr. 
Gladstone at a garden party at Marlborough House. The Prince of Wales (Edward VII), who 
stands in front of the Duke of Cambridge, is shaking hands with Sir Frederick Leighton, A.R.A. 
On the left are The Princess of Wales (Alexandra) and Mrs. Gladstone 


235 





BRADLAUGH EJECTED FROM THE HOUSE Charles Bradlaugh, free-thfnker, became 
notorious as a leading “ infidel,” and his competence, as an avowed atheist, to take the oath was 
continually questioned, and when in 1880 he was returned to Parliament as a Radical, his claim 
to be allowed to affirm was reiectcd Refusal to allow him to take the oath, on his professing 
willingness, led to his eicctment. He was permitted to take the oath and h» seat m 1886. 


236 



MR. PARNELL REMOVED : “ The extraordinary scene in the House of Commons, when 
twenty-eight fiish Members were ‘ named ’ seriatim by the Speaker for having disregarded his 
authority, will take a prominent place in the History of England. Each of the members went 
through the form of refusing to leave the House without the intervention of physical force, but 
submitted when Captain Gosset and his six assistants appeared. Mr. Parnell marched out without 
resistance besiife the Sergeant-at-Arms, protesting that he only yielded to superior force” 


*J7 





OLR FATHERS 






CAPTAIN BOYCOTJ GA1I1LRS 1IIS HARM - ST "No labourer has dared to work for 
Captain Boycott since he became a marked man, through serving c|cctmcnts on tenants as agent to 
Lord 1 rne He \\ as isolated b\ the Land Leaguers until an expedition of some fifty or sixty picked 
men, from among the thousands who -volunteered arrived armed Although Captain Boycott’s 
case is tjpicil, the prominence accorded it bids fan to give the English language a new word” 





MR GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 

1881 



TIIE WIDO^ AND THE \SS VSSIN A SCI NE IN RURAL IRELAND “ After an 
outrage during the Land Agitati >n T im 1 >c>K it the poor Lidy ’ ‘I . can t, Biddv 1 ’ ’ 


2^9 




THE INFORMER AGAINST THE DUBLIN MURDER LEAGUE: “The prisoners 
arrested in connection with the Phcenix Park murder adopted a hearty good-humcurcd manner 
in Court, until their self-possession was swept away by the arrival of James Carey, who suddenly 
appeared in the character of informer. Surprise, indignation, and disgust swept over the prisoners’ 
feces as they glanced with scorn at the man who had once been their guide and leader.” (Catey 
was assassinated later in the year by Patrick O’Donnell on board a vessel at Cape Town) 


240 



MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 

1889 



PARNELL AND A SINISTER FIGURE “During the last sitting ot the Commission enquiring 
into the letters that purport to implicate Mr Parnell in Fenian outrages, a rencontre occurred 
outside the Law Courts between the Nationalist leader (with Mr George Lewis) and the so called 
‘ Major le Caron,’ who states that Parnell w rote the letters, and w hom evidence has revealed as 
Mr Beecher, an ev British spy within the Fenian inner councils, both in Iteland and America ” 


1889 



THE FORGER OF THE PARNELL LETTERS CONFESSES “ Piggott (standing up), the 
Irish journalist who wrote the seditious letters published by The Times as purporting to have been 
written by Parnell, admitting to Henry Labouchere and George Augustus Sala that he was the 
forger’’ (From a sketch made by Sydney P Hall in Laboucherc’s room after the confession) 


241 




OUR FATHERS 


1886 



MR GLADSTONE DEFEATED “ The motion before the House was to go into Committee on the 
Budget Bill, when Sir Michael Hicks Beach met this with a resolution challenging three of the 
leading principles Members were so familiar with formal attacks that thev were not inclined 
to regard this cflort w ith interest, and sixty two Liberals stopped away because thei thought 
there was ‘nothing in it’ The Dmsion bell ring after midnight, \ erv few set guessing the 
surprise m store Slowly the house emptied and siowl) refilled, but it was a matter of minutes 
before the tellers armed with news that the Opposition had tnumphed and the Go ernment was 
overthrown Scenes of wild excitement broke out on the Conservative side, and Lord Randolph 
Churchill leapt on the bench madly shouting Throughout the mad tumult, Mr Gladstone 
remained outwardly unmoved , he sat in his usual seat with his portfolio on his knees, writing 
to the Queen the account of his own defeat, but never once looked up at his gleeful opponents ” 


242 




MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 

1886 



“ VICE VERSA — THE OLD CHANCELLOR AND THE NEW : “ Mr. Gladstone’s most 

genuine triumphs as a politician were won as Chancellor of the Exchequer when a sagacious 
Chancellor ffiight occupy himself in the agreeable task of simplifying and lightening taxation. 
Matters are very different, now, for we are always haunted by the war spectre. It is at this gloomy 
time that the Chancellorship has been conferred upon Lord Randolph Churchill, whose duties have 
hitherto been combative rather than fiscal. The verdict, on the whole, is that his lordship has 
acquitted himself fairly well, although Mr. Gladstone sombrely frowns from the bench opposite 


243 



O-P p .THli-' 



ULS1TRS UNION JACK IN THE ALBLRT HALL “ The most remarkable political 
dcmi nstritijn of recent times was held in the Albert Ilall, when 1,200 delegates from loyalist 
r cictu ill over Ireland protested against the great betrayal by Home Rule, and were joined by 
12,000 English Unionists A shout went up when the Duke of Abercom unfolded the Union 
Jack, and planted it beside the chair The audience then spontaneously broke Hnto song : 

* Shall we from the Union sever ? 

By the God that made us. Never 1 
Wave the flag we love for ever. 

Over us and you I ’ ” 


244 



*45 









MR. GLADSTONE SEES IT PASS 

1896 



PRELUDE TO THE BOER \\ AR — Joseph Chambcilain as Colonial Secretary “ Our first 
object is to preserve our position as the paramount State in South Africa It matters not 
whether we caE ourselves suzerain or paramount, but it is an essential feature of our policy 
that the authority and influence of this country should be predominant in South Africa ” 


247 



I90Z 



QUEEN VICTORIA IS DEAD 


*49 



FIRST PUBLISHED 19)1 


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AT THE WIND MILL PRESS 
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